This year will see the UK’s first-ever mobile Christmas, with traffic from mobile phones and tablets expected to overtake visits from desktops this December 25.
The forecast comes from John Lewis , which says almost 50% of traffic to its website came from mobile last Christmas Day – and this year it expects it to pass that by 5pm on the day.
Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, said: “Mobile is set to be the shining star of Christmas 2013.
“Shopping is becoming much more of a social experience with people browsing, purchasing and sharing ideas with others using their mobile phones and tablets. We expect this to increase dramatically during the festive period as customer shop on the go and we anticipate that Christmas Day will be the tipping point for mobile.”
Lewis was speaking as the company launched its new transactional iPad app, which features content from the John Lewis magazine and catalogues. He said that while customers were more likely to shop for lower value items on mobile devices, some customers did buy big-ticket items. The most expensive product John Lewis has sold via mobile to date was a £7,000 television, said Lewis.
“We know our customers shop using many channels and over the last 12 months we have seen a significant increase in sales via mobile devices. Our aim is to create a seamless shopping experience for customers, whether that is in-store, online or mobile and our iPad app fits with our leading omnichannel strategy.”
Mobile in figures
• Christmas Day 2012 saw mobile traffic peak at 9pm.
• The busiest day on mobile last year was December 26, with more than 920,000 visits. More than a million visits are expected this Boxing Day – setting a new record.
• Mobile now accounts for more than 40% of traffic to johnlewis.com, with traffic up over 115%, year on year.
• The busiest time for mobile traffic is 10pm.
• Fashion is the go-to category for mobile visitors, with 78% of total sales in the category now completed on a mobile device.
Our view: We’ve speculated in the past as to whether we’ve reached the year of the mobile. What’s fast emerging is that not only have we reached that point, but from now on all years will be the year of the mobile. It makes sense: smartphones and tablets may not be cheap, but they’re cheaper than laptops or desktop computers, they’re always on, and, smartphones in particular are pretty much always with their user.