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The iPhone and the iPad were the most used on Black Friday

November 27, 2011

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According to new numbers released from IBM Coremetrics Research, the iPhone and the iPad were among some of the most often used devices to help drive up eCommerce sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year.

Online shopping grew by almost 40 percent year over year when compared to Thanksgiving 2010, creating a stronger momentum that continued well into Black Friday, where online sales grew by 24.3 percent compared with the same 2010 period, said the report.

Overall, Black Friday witnessed the arrival of the mobile deal seeker, who used his or her mobile device as a research tool for in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic came close to tripling year over year, to 14.3 percent on Black Friday of this year compared to just 5.6 percent last year.

The iPhone and the iPad accounted for about 10.2 percent of all Black Friday eCommerce traffic. The iPhone and the iPad ranked 1 and 2 for mobile device retail traffic (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively).

For its part, Android-based devices came in third at 4.1 percent. But it wasn't all about mobile browsing and no fun. The value of individual orders also increased, while the number of items purchased decreased. Home goods, for example, saw an average order-value increase of nearly 16 percent, while the number of items per order dropped by more than 6 percent.

Here's a basic rundown of the report's other key findings:

  • Sales on mobile devices surged year over year, to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent
  • Shoppers using the iPad accounted for more actual purchases per visit than shoppers using other mobile devices, with conversion rates reaching 4.6 percent for the Apple device versus 2.8 percent for overall mobile devices
  • Mobile shoppers demonstrated sharper focus that surpassed that of other online shoppers, with a 41.3 percent bounce rate on mobile devices versus a rate of 33.1 percent for online shoppers on other computing gadgets. The bounce rate records how often people jump from one site to another looking for the best deal on a particular item, rather than browsing around through various items in a more leisurely fashion
  • Shoppers referred from social networks generated 0.53 percent of all online sales on Black Friday. Facebook led the pack, accounting for 75 percent of all traffic from social networks
  • The gains in online shopping come amid a push from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to offer better online experiences
  • On average, while stores like Macys offered doorbuster sales to bring more customers into its brick-and-mortar locations and ostensibly spend more money in them, a greater number of people appear to be splitting their purchasing between online and physical stores.

    The National Retail Federation estimates that as many as 152 million Americans are expected to shop this weekend, up from last year's 138 million.

    Stephen Baker, vice president of the NPD Group's Industry Analysis unit, reported preliminary results from NPD's Anatomy of Black Friday study. Among the findings, almost 65 percent of tech shoppers actually ponied up for a product because they found it on sale, and 28 percent took advantage of big sales at a specific retailer they had targeted.

    Totals in both those categories were about 50 percent higher than the corresponding totals for shoppers overall, and both the tech totals reflected a 10 percent increase year over year.

    Electronics continued to be the second most popular category, after clothing, with more than 23 percent of Black Friday shoppers buying some type of electronic gadget-- fifteen percent more than last year and about 49.8 percent higher than the third most popular category, toys.

    Television sets saw their popularity leap 30 percent from 2010, and they overtook computers as the most popular electronics product, excluding purchases of video games from the computers category.

    Big-screen TVs seemed to be preferred to their smaller-screen versions, with 26 percent of Black Friday tech shoppers saying they plan to spend more than $1,000 during the holidays. That's 10 percent more than last year and compares with 19 percent of overall shoppers who said they planned to spend that much.

    And electronics retailers did nicely too, with Best Buy coming in as the fourth most visited retailer just behind Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon. And Best Buy saw its total number of shoppers fall less sharply than did other retailers, as numbers dipped across the board.

    Additionally, about 58 percent of Best Buy shoppers actually shelled out for merchandise, versus 38 percent in 2010, and the biggest jump among the top four retail outlets.

    Source: Ovum Market Research, London, U.K.

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