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Mobile shopping grew by 186.5% in UK during December, says IBM

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Mobile devices including the iPad, iPhone and Android help drive strong online retail sales over Christmas, according to the latest cloud-based analytics findings by IBM, accounting for some 15 per cent of all retailer online traffic.

The UK online retail sector delivered 5.4 percent sales growth in December 2011 compared to the same period last year, says IBM’s findings, following a strong November where online retail sales were up 21.5 percent on 28 November 2011 over the same Monday in 2010 and up 30 percent on Monday 5 December over the same Monday in 2010.

Delivered as part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Benchmark Christmas season report reveals that consumer 15 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, up from 5.6 percent over the same period in 2010 — an increase of 169 percent. Sales from mobile devices also grew, reaching 12.9 percent versus 4.5 percent in December 2010 — an increase of 186.5 percent.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (6.4 percent and 4.7 percent respectively). Android was third at 3.6 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 11.1 percent for the month. Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.1 percent compared to 3.8 percent for all mobile devices.

“This Christmas shopping season has been characterised by consumers looking for deals and increasingly using their mobiles to shop online,” said Andrew Jackson-Proes, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) leader for UK & Ireland, IBM. “The report demonstrates that retailers can really benefit from Smarter Commerce initiatives by meeting their customers’ expectations for offers and service via any device.”

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