Mobile Set For Major Role This Christmas
- Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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Sales driven by mobile and social media are set to play a bigger role in this year’s Christmas shopping season according to the IBM Coremetrics 2011 UK Christmas Season Readiness Report.
Using data gathered from more than 150 contributing UK retailers, IBM predicts that mobile traffic as a percentage of all retail site visits will hit double figures by Christmas 2011, having grown from just over 4 per cent to 7.2 per cent between November 2010 and May 2011.
In the same time period, the contribution of mobile as a percentage of all online site sales nearly doubled, from 3.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent, which suggests that further growth for mobile as a sales channel is likely in the run-up to Christmas.
The benchmark also found that mobile users exhibit a trend for fewer page views (5.8 compared with an average of 8.4, across all means of going online), spend less time on websites (4 minutes and 13 seconds, versus 6 minutes and 24 seconds across all means of going online) and display higher bounce rates to other sites (39.6 per cent compared with 32.8 per cent).
“Despite the attractiveness of engaging with customers on the move, mobile brings with it unique considerations and challenges,” says Marcel Holsheimer, global marketing executive for enterprise marketing management for IBM. “Using a mobile device to browse, compare prices, check availability and store locations or make a purchase is convenient for the consumer, which can translate into significant conversion opportunities – but only if the e-tailer delivers a compelling mobile experience. E-tailers therefore need to monitor and optimise the mobile browsing experience to counteract mobile users’ tendency for short and erratic periods online.”
Social media contribution to retailer site traffic also grew consistently during the seven months covered by the report. From a social media perspective, users behave in a more efficient manner in terms of sales conversion. They are twice as likely to convert, at an average rate of 11 per cent versus 6 per cent overall. This conversion rate, when viewed in conjunction with other behaviour, also suggests that social users are more receptive to offers. Their high bounce rate of nearly 62 per cent, coupled with a low average time spent on the websites of just over 3 minutes, suggests they are responding to social media-only offers – such as Facebook coupons or exclusive offers advertised on Twitter.
“With the recession still very much front of mind, many savvy e-shoppers are buying surgically,” notes Holsheimer. “They know what they want and can hone in on it with far less browsing than in previous years. Smart e-tailers still have time to step up and expand their mobile and social networking platforms in time for this year’s festive season, as a way to deepen engagement with their prized customers, strengthen their long-term loyalty, and convert sales via the customer’s personal channel of choice.”
You can download the full report here.