Pre-Thanksgiving sales up 18.7 per cent

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IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data showed that online sales rose 18.7 per cent this past weekend over a similar period last year as a number of retailers, including Target, Walmart, Staples, Amazon, Sears, Lowe’s and several others, launched pre-Black Friday sales.

Mobile traffic accounted for 48.8 per cent of all online traffic, which is an increase of 24.4 per cent over last year. Mobile sales also jumped by 23.9 per cent year-on-year to account for 26.6 per cent of all online sales.

Smartphones drove almost twice as much traffic as tablets; smartphones comprised 31.8 per cent of overall online traffic compared to tablets’ 16.5 per cent share. However, tablet users spent more money, accounting for 17.3 per cent of all online sales. This was almost double the amount spent by smartphone shoppers.

As usual, iOS shoppers drove more sales, sent more traffic, and spent more money than Android shoppers.

Apple iOS was used by 33 per cent of overall online traffic, compared with Google Android’s 15.3 per cent. Apple iOS shoppers accounted for 20.8 per cent of all online sales, while Google Android shoppers accounted for just 5.4 per cent. Apple iOS shoppers averaged $111.55 per order compared to Google Android shoppers’ $86.56.

Meanwhile, desktop PCs continued to play a major role, accounting for 51.2 per cent of total online traffic and 73.4 per cent of all online sales. IBM noted that shoppers spent more when shopping from desktops than they did when shopping using mobile devices.

Although more people shopped online during this period, they spent less money than they did in 2013. During the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, the average order’s value stood at $112.86, which is down 5.4 per cent from last year.

IBM attributes this to shoppers using rebates and coupons to obtain better deals online.

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