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Holiday Benchmark Data Alert: Updated Tuesday, December 2, 9 am EST

9 AM ET Alert: Cyber Monday Caps Record Five-Day "Cyber Week" Driven by Mobile Shopping

Armonk, NY – December 2, 2014 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today reported strong online and mobile sales for Cyber Monday 2014, capping a record five-day span for holiday shopping, based on consumer transaction data analyzed in real-time by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. The data-driven insight gives retailers and marketers more than 370 performance indicators to benchmark themselves against industry peers to drive more targeted customer engagements.

Heading back to work, consumers clicked their way to the best deals on Cyber Monday – which remained the busiest online shopping day of the holiday season. Online sales grew 8.5 percent compared to 2013, with mobile sales up 27.6 percent year-over-year. New York City also continued its run as the top U.S. city for online shopping, retaining the top spot on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

IBM reported strong growth on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, culminating with a record five-day ‘Cyber Week’ period for online shopping. From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, overall online sales increased 12.6 percent, with mobile sales up 27.2 percent compared to the same period in 2013. iOS devices continued to lead in mobile shopping with traffic more than twice, and sales nearly four times, that of Android devices during Cyber Week.

“For the first time mobile devices drove more than half of Thanksgiving online traffic, a trend that continued throughout Cyber Week," said Jay Henderson, Director, IBM Smarter Commerce. “As the holiday shopping season becomes less concentrated on a single day, retailers and marketers took advantage by making it easier for consumers to find the best deals on the go, whenever and wherever they chose to shop.”

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark is delivered to clients through the company’s Smarter Commerce initiative, which combines innovation from $3.5 billion invested to develop the industry’s leading customer engagement platform with expertise working with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 commerce engagements.

The company released the following trends as of 12:00 am PST this morning:

Cyber Monday 2014 Compared to Cyber Monday 2013:

  • Online Sales Set New Record: The Monday after Thanksgiving remained the busiest day for online shopping over the five day period. Cyber Monday online sales grew by 8.5 percent over 2013. Average order value was $124.21, down 3.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Cyber Monday Becomes Mobile Monday: Cyber Monday mobile traffic accounted for 41.2 percent of all online traffic, up 30.1 percent over 2013. Mobile sales were also strong, reaching 22 percent of total Cyber Monday online sales, an increase of 27.6 percent year-over-year.
  • New York City Takes Top Spot for Cyber Sales: New York City again claimed the top spot for Cyber Monday sales, followed by Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; and Chicago, IL. On average, New York City shoppers spent $112.44 per order on Cyber Monday.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: As the new digital shopping companion for many consumers, smartphones drove 28.5 percent of all Cyber Monday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12.5 percent of all traffic. Yet, when it comes to mobile sales, tablets continue to win the shopping war – driving 12.9 percent of online sales compared to 9.1 percent for smartphones, a difference of 41.5 percent. Tablet users also averaged $121.49 per order compared to $99.61 for smartphone users, a difference of 22 percent.
  • iOS vs. Android: iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics on Cyber Monday:
    • Average Order Value: iOS users averaged $114.79 per order compared to $96.84 for Android users, a difference 18.5 percent.
    • Online Traffic: iOS traffic accounted for 28.7 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 12.2 percent of all online traffic.
    • Online Sales: iOS sales accounted for 17.4 percent of total online sales, more than four times that of Android, which drove 4.4 percent of all online sales.
  • Retailers Use Email to Deliver Follow-Up Deals*: Transactional messages, or emails that are automatically triggered by a consumer's action like a purchase receipt or cart abandonment, increased 48 percent year-over-year. The median number of emails sent to consumers from retailers on Cyber Monday was two, remaining the same in 2014 compared to 2013. Open and click through rates on Cyber Monday were 12.8 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. More than 46 percent of Cyber Monday emails were opened on mobile devices or tablets, versus 52 percent on desktops.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: As shoppers returned to work on Cyber Monday, desktop PCs accounted for 58.6 percent of all online traffic and 78 percent of all online sales. Consumers also spent more while shopping on their PCs with an average order value of $128.24 compared to $110.72 for mobile shoppers, a difference of 15.8 percent.
  • Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Pinterest referrals drove an average of $97.78 per order compared to $123.44 for Facebook, a difference of 26.2 percent.

 

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season:

  1. Department Stores: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 17.9 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales up 21.3 percent. Average order value was $146.07, a decrease of 9.7 percent year-over-year.
  2. Health and Beauty: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 3.8 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales up 27.5 percent. Average order value was $57.94, a decrease of 3.8 percent year-over-year.
  3. Home Goods: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 27.5 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales up 13.2 percent. Average order value was $247.56, an increase of 10.9 percent year-over-year.
  4. Apparel: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 3.4 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales up 28.9 percent. Average order value was $100.67, a decrease of 2.1 percent year-over-year.


Earlier Alerts

12.01.2014, 6 PM ET:
Online shoppers make final push for Cyber Monday deals

Retailers realizing 8.1% online sales growth as of 6 pm EST as the cyber shopping holiday winds down.

This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 6 p.m. EST today, Cyber Monday - as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. We will send the full Cyber Monday recap alert tomorrow morning.

Here are the key Cyber Monday trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark as of 6 p.m. EST today:

  • Online sales were up 8.1 percent over the same period on Cyber Monday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 38.3 percent of all online traffic on Cyber Monday, an increase of 30.3 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 20.4 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 30.1 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Cyber Monday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $131.66, flat compared to 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.1 items per order, up 3 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 27.9 percent of total online traffic, almost three times that of tablets, which accounted for 10.1 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 11 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 9.3 percent of total online sales, a difference of 18.6 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 61.6 percent of all online traffic, and 79.6 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $136.60 compared to their mobile devices at $116.96, a difference of 16.8 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $122.05 per order compared to $101.65 for Android users, a difference 20.1 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 26.1 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 11.8 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 15.8 percent of total online sales, nearly four times times that of Android, which drove 4.4 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $126.31 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $98.69 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

12.01.2014, 3 PM ET:
Cyber shoppers keep clicking their Monday blues away as of 3 pm

Online sales are up 8.7% as Cyber Monday continues to attract deal hunter.

This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 3 p.m. EST today, Cyber Monday—as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow today at 6 p.m. EST.

Here are the key Cyber Monday trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark as of 3 p.m. EST today:

  • Online sales were up 8.7 percent over the same period on Cyber Monday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 38.6 percent of all online traffic on Cyber Monday, an increase of 28.8 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 21.3 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 29.3 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Cyber Monday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $133.07, flat compared to 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4 items per order, up 4.7 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 28.2 percent of total online traffic, almost three times that of tablets, which accounted for 10.2 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 11.5 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 9.8 percent of total online sales, a difference of 17.9 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 61.2 percent of all online traffic, and 78.7 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $138.17 compared to their mobile devices at $119.16, a difference of 16 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $124.61 per order compared to $102.93 for Android users, a difference 21.1 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 26.3 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 12 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 16.5 percent of total online sales, nearly four times times that of Android, which drove 4.6 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $128.06 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $93.81 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

12.01.2014, 12 PM ET:
No case of the ‘Mondays’ for online shoppers


Cyber Monday online sales are off to a fast start with 9.2% growth as of noon EST today

This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 12 p.m. EST today, Cyber Monday - as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. Our next alert, will follow today at 3 p.m. EST.

Here are the key Cyber Monday trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark as of 12 p.m. EST today:

  • Online sales were up 9.2 percent over the same period on Cyber Monday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 39.9 percent of all online traffic on Cyber Monday, an increase of 28.4 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 23 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 28.7 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Cyber Monday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $135.51, flat compared to 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 3.9 items per order, up 4.6 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 29 percent of total online traffic, almost three times that of tablets, which accounted for 10.7 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 12.5 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 10.5 percent of total online sales, a difference of 19.1 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 59.9 percent of all online traffic, and 77 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $141.14 compared to their mobile devices at $122.04, a difference of 15.7 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $127.85 per order compared to $104.81 for Android users, a difference 22 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 27.1 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 12.4 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 17.8 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 5 percent of all online sales
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $126.51 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $90.60 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

IBM spokespeople are available to talk about today’s trends by phone and in studio. Spokespeople are available throughout the holiday as well.

12.01.2014, 10 AM ET:
No rest for online shoppers over the weekend

This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed for the past weekend, Saturday, Nov. 29 and Sunday, Nov. 30 - as consumers, retailers and marketers embraced the holiday shopping season. Our next alert on Cyber Monday online sales, will be issued today at 12 p.m. EST.

This year marked the first weekend after Thanksgiving where mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic, on Saturday and Sunday.

Over the weekend, IBM continued to see strong mobile sales. Here are the key weekend trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark:

  • Online sales were up 17 percent compared to the same weekend in 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 51.2 percent of all online traffic this past weekend, an increase of 25.5 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 28.9 percent of all online sales this past weekend, an increase of 24.9 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these weekend trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $123.81, flat compared to the same period in 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 3.4 items per order.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 34.5 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 16.3 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 17.6 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 11.2 percent of total online sales, a difference of 56.3 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 48.6 percent of all online traffic, and 71.1 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $128.60 compared to their mobile devices at $112.81, a difference of 14 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value:Apple iOS users averaged $117.45 per order compared to $97.74 for Android users, a difference of 20.2 percent
    • Online Traffic:Apple iOS traffic accounted for 35.4 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 15.4 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 22.7 percent of total online sales, nearly four times that of Android, which drove 6 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $107.91 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $105.25 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.29.2014, 10 AM ET:
Thanksgiving Sets Historic Milestone as Mobile Drives More Than Half of All Shopping Traffic, Reports IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark

  • Percent, Mobile Sales Up 25.4 percent
  • Black Friday Online Sales Up 9.5 Percent, Mobile Sales Up 28.2 percent
  • New York City Claims Top Spot among U.S. Cities for Online Shopping

Armonk, NY — Nov. 29, 2014 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today reported record online and mobile shopping during Thanksgiving and Black Friday based on consumer transaction data analyzed in real-time by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. The data-driven insight gives retailers and marketers more than 370 performance indicators to benchmark themselves against industry peers to drive more targeted customer engagements.

For the first time, online traffic from mobile devices outpaced traditional PCs on Thanksgiving Day. As IBM predicted within one percent of accuracy, Thanksgiving Day reached a new mobile tipping point with browsing on smartphones and tablets accounting for 52.1 percent of all online traffic. Overall Thanksgiving online sales were up 14.3 percent compared to 2013.

The mobile momentum carried into Black Friday, which saw a surge in both online and mobile shopping as consumers brought their devices into the store to comparison shop. Overall Black Friday online sales were up 9.5 percent year-over-year with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four of all online purchases. New York City also retained its title as the top U.S. city for Black Friday online shopping.

“Mobile has become the new Thanksgiving tradition as consumers find the best deals with their fingers as well as their feet," said Jay Henderson, Director, IBM Smarter Commerce. “We saw retailers harness the power of data to engage shoppers, identifying the unique preferences of their customers while quickly capitalizing on online, mobile or in-store trends as they emerged.”

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark is delivered to clients through the company’s Smarter Commerce initiative, which combines innovation from $3.5 billion invested to develop the industry’s leading customer engagement platform with expertise working with 8,000 leading global brands and 35,000 commerce engagements.

The company released the following trends as of 12:00 a.m. PST this morning, at the official close of the two-day shopping period:

  • Historic Mobile Milestone Spurs Online Shopping: Thanksgiving Day mobile traffic accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic – the first time mobile devices have outpaced their PC counterparts for online browsing. Black Friday mobile traffic reached 49.6 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Black Friday mobile sales accounted for 27.9 percent of total online sales, up 28.2 percent over 2013.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: As the new digital shopping companion for many consumers, smartphones drove 34.7 percent of all Black Friday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 14.6 percent of all traffic. Yet, when it comes to mobile sales, tablets continue to win the shopping war – driving 16 percent of online sales compared to 11.8 percent for smartphones, a difference of 35.5 percent. Tablet users also averaged $126.50 per order compared to $107.55 for smartphone users, a difference of 17.6 percent.
  • Thanksgiving Eats Into Black Friday Sales: Thanksgiving Day online sales increased 14.3 percent over 2013, with Black Friday up 9.5 percent year-over-year. Average order value on Thanksgiving was $125.25, down 1.8 percent over 2013; Black Friday was $129.37, down 4.4 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains. Black Friday online sales were 63.5 percent higher than Thanksgiving Day. This is a decrease from 2013, however, when it was 70 percent higher as Thanksgiving online sales continue to eat into Black Friday shopping.
  • Top Five U.S. Cities for Online Shopping: New York City claimed the top spot for Black Friday online shopping followed by Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; and Chicago, IL. New York City shoppers spent on average $121.91 per order on Black Friday.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics on Black Friday:
    • Average Order Value: iOS users averaged $121.86 per order compared to $98.07 for Android users, a difference 24.3 percent.
    • Online Traffic: iOS traffic accounted for 34.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 15 percent of all online traffic.
    • Online Sales: iOS sales accounted for 21.9 percent of total online sales, nearly quadruple that of Android, which drove 5.8 percent of all online sales.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: When consumers did choose to use their PC or desktop, they spent more with an average order value of $135.33 compared to $116.02 for mobile shoppers, a difference of 16.6 percent.
  • Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites on Black Friday – Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $109.94 per order compared to $100.24 for Pinterest, a difference of nearly 10 percent. Facebook referrals converted online sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest.
  • Less Frequent, More Targeted Email Promos*: Retailers sent an average of 5.3 emails on Black Friday 2014, decreasing more than 11 percent over the same period in 2013, as retail marketers continue to send more targeted -- and less frequent -- messages to shoppers. Open and click-through rates – when someone opens an email and clicks at least one link – were 12.9 percent and 2.4 percent, on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day, compared to 15.4 percent and 2.8 percent respectively, last year.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season:

  1. Department Stores: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.9 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.7 percent. Average order value was $143.16, a decrease of 2.5 percent year-over-year.
  2. Health and Beauty: Black Friday online sales grew by 56.9 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 31.8 percent. Average order value was $72.78, an increase of 9.8 percent year-over-year.
  3. Home Goods: Black Friday online sales grew by 43.2 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 3.8 percent. Average order value was $238.46, an increase of 6.8 percent year-over-year.
  4. Apparel: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.6 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.2 percent. Average order value was $114.96, a decrease of 6.8 percent year-over-year.

* Denotes Silverpop-specific data not included in the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report. Silverpop, an IBM Company, is a cloud-based digital marketing provider that offers email marketing and lead management solutions. The research examined messages sent by Silverpop's global client base, combining data from a variety of brands and message types. Messages include promotional emails, content-based newsletters, notifications and transactional emails.

11.28.2014, 6 PM ET:
Online retailers well in the black as Friday’s shopping blitz winds down


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 6 p.m. EST today—Black Friday—as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. Our next alert, a Black Friday recap press release, will be issued tomorrow around 7 a.m. EST.

This year marked the first Thanksgiving Thursday where mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic—something IBM predicted within one percent accuracy.

Today, on Black Friday, IBM continues to see strong mobile sales. Here are the key Black Friday trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark as of 6 p.m. EST today:

  • Online sales were up 8.5 percent over the same period on Black Friday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 46.7 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 24.2 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 26.1 percent of all online sales, an increase of 24.7 percent YoY
  • Yesterday, Thanksgiving Thursday, was the first time mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic

Of note, Black Friday online sales eclipsed that of Thanksgiving online sales as of 5:20 p.m. EST.

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Black Friday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $136.87 down 2.4 percent over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.1 items per order. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 33.6 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12.8 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 14.3 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 11.7 percent of total online sales, a difference of 21.5 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 53.1 percent of all online traffic, and 73.9 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $144.28 compared to their mobile devices at $120.77 a difference of 19.5 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $127.34 per order compared to $101.82 for Android users, a difference 25.1 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 31.8 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.5 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 20.2 percent of total online sales, nearly four times that of Android, which drove 5.6 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $124.44 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $98.62 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.28.2014, 3 PM ET:
Online Black Friday shoppers pick up the pace at mid-afternoon


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 3 p.m. EST today - Black Friday - as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow today at 6 p.m. EST.

This year marked the first Thanksgiving Thursday where mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic—something IBM predicted within one percent accuracy. Today, on Black Friday, IBM continues to see strong mobile sales. Here are the key Black Friday trends reported by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark as of 3 p.m. EST today:

  • Online sales were up 8 percent over the same period on Black Friday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 45.9 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 23.2 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 26 percent of all online sales, an increase of 23 percent YoY
  • Yesterday, Thanksgiving Thursday, was the first time mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Black Friday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $138.63 down 1.9 percent over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.2 items per order. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 33 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12.6 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 14.1 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 11.8 percent of total online sales, a difference of 19.1 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 53.9 percent of all online traffic, and 74 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $146.32 compared to their mobile devices at $122.12, a difference of 19.8 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $128.87 per order compared to $102.83 for Android users, a difference 25.3 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 31.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.3 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 20.1 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 5.7 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $128.29 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $97.34 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.28.2014, 12 PM ET:
Online shoppers kick off Black Friday deal buying frenzy


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed today—Black Friday—as consumers, retailers and marketers dove into the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow today at 3 p.m. EST.

Here are the online shopping trends reported by IBM's real-time analytics for Black Friday as of 12 p.m. EST:

  • Online sales were up 6.4 percent over the same period on Black Friday 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 45 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 21.7 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 26.2 percent of all online sales, an increase of 21.8 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Black Friday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $139.80 down 1.8 percent over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.3 items per order. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 32.3 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12.5 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 14 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 12.1 percent of total online sales, a difference of 15.8 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 54.8 percent of all online traffic, and 73.7 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $147.83 compared to their mobile devices at $123.09, a difference of 20 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $130.18 per order compared to $103.18 for Android users, a difference 26.2 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 30.5 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.1 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 20.2 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 5.8 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $127.81 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $98.28 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.28.2014, 6 AM ET:
Online retailers thankful for another strong Turkey Day sales session


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed on Thanksgiving Day as consumers, retailers and marketers got an early start on the holiday shopping season. Our next alert, on Black Friday trends, will follow today at 12 p.m. EST.

  • Online sales were up 14.3 percent over the same period on Thanksgiving 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 22.4 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 32.3 percent of all online sales, an increase of 25.4 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Thanksgiving Day trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $125.25 down 1.8 percent over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.3 items per order, an increase of 16.2 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 36.4 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 15.4 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 17.9 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 14.4 percent of total online sales, a difference of 24.2 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 47.6 percent of all online traffic, and 67.6 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $132.48 compared to their mobile devices at $112.69, a difference of 17.6 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $118.57 per order compared to $95.25 for Android users, a difference 24.5 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 35.7 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 15.9 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 25.2 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 6.9 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $107.73 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $95.24 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this Thanksgiving:

  1. Department Stores: Thanksgiving total online sales grew by 29.8 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25 percent. Average order value was $139.53, a decrease of 2.4 percent year-over-year.
  2. Health and Beauty: Thanksgiving total online sales grew by 55 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 30.5 percent. Average order value was $72.90, an increase of 6.2 percent year-over-year.
  3. Home Goods: Thanksgiving total online sales grew by 32.4 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales flat. Average order value was $282.65, an increase of 19.2 percent year-over-year.
  4. Apparel: Thanksgiving total online sales grew by 36.7 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 28 percent. Average order value was $112.79, a decrease of 1.9 percent year-over-year

11.27.2014, 6 PM ET:
Shoppers make room for second helping of Thanksgiving online deals


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 6 p.m. EST today on Thanksgiving as consumers, retailers and marketers got an early start on the holiday shopping season. Our next alert, a Thanksgiving Day recap, will follow tomorrow at 7 a.m. EST.

  • Online sales were up 12.2 percent over the same period on Thanksgiving 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 47.4 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 26.1 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 29.7 percent of all online sales, an increase of 26.5 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Thanksgiving Day trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $130.39 resulting in flat growth over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.4 items per order, an increase of 20.7 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 33.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 13.9 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 16.1 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 13.5 percent of total online sales, a difference of 19.3 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 52.4 percent of all online traffic, and 70.1 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $138.89 compared to their mobile devices at $115.28, a difference of 20.5 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics as of 6 p.m. EST today:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $121.73 per order compared to $97.14 for Android users, a difference 25.3 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 32.1 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.8 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 22.9 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 6.6 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $106.77 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $89.05 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.27.2014, 3 PM ET:
Online shoppers continue to feast on online deals as Thanksgiving rolls on


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 3 p.m. EST today on Thanksgiving as consumers, retailers and marketers got an early start on the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow later today at 6 p.m. EST today.

  • Online sales were up 11 percent over the same period on Thanksgiving 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 46.1 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 26.8 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 29.2 percent of all online sales, an increase of 27.7 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Thanksgiving Day trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $131.30, resulting in flat growth over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.5 items per order, an increase of 21.7 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 32 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 13.7 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 15.9 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 13.2 percent of total online sales, a difference of 20.7 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 53.7 percent of all online traffic, and 70.7 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $140.33 compared to their mobile devices at $115.57, a difference of 21.4 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics as of 3 p.m. EST today:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $122.08 per order compared to $97.25 for Android users, a difference 25.5 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 31.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.4 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 22.5 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 6.5 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $105.22 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $89.54 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.27.2014, 12 PM ET:
An appetizing start to Thanksgiving online shopping


Below is the 12 PM ET online shopping data alert with real-time data from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed as of 12 p.m. EST today, Thanksgiving—as consumers, retailers and marketers got an early start on the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow later today at 3 p.m. EST today.

  • Online sales were up 11.3 percent over the same period on Thanksgiving 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 44.5 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 26.9 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 28.4 percent of all online sales, an increase of 27.9 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early Thanksgiving Day trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $131.97, resulting in flat growth over 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.5 items per order, an increase of 22.3 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 30.9 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 13.2 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 15.3 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 13 percent of total online sales, a difference of 17.8 percent.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 55.3 percent of all online traffic, and 71.5 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $141.09 compared to their mobile devices at $115.85, a difference of 21.8 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics as of 12 p.m. EST today:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $122.02 per order compared to $99.05 for Android users, a difference 23.2 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 29.9 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 14.2 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 21.6 percent of total online sales, more than three times that of Android, which drove 6.6 percent of all online sales.
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $102.48 per order, while Pinterest referrals averaged $85.86 per order.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

11.26.2014, 5 pm ET:
Online shopping action simmers with early Turkey Week deals


Gift buyers drive nearly 9% online sales growth on Monday and Tuesday in the run up before the main shopping event


This alert looks at U.S. online shopping transactions observed the days leading up to Thanksgiving—Monday, Nov. 24 and Tuesday, Nov. 25—as consumers, retailers and marketers got an early start on the holiday shopping season. Our next alert will follow tomorrow at 12 p.m. EST (Thanksgiving).

Here are the online shopping trends reported by IBM's real-time analytics during the days leading up to Thanksgiving:

  • Online sales were up 8.8 percent over the same two-day period in 2013
  • Mobile traffic accounted for 39.1 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 22.4 percent YoY
  • Mobile sales accounted for 17 percent of all online sales, an increase of 24.7 percent YoY

Let's take a closer look at the key drivers behind these early holiday trends:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $124.14, a decrease of 2 percent over the same period in 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.6 items per order. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 26.7 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 10.1 percent of online sales, nearly twice as much as smartphones, which accounted for 6.8 percent of total online sales.
  • The Desktop is Not Dead: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 60.7 percent of all online traffic, and 83 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops which an average order value of $130.14 compared to their mobile devices at $100.94, a difference of 29 percent.
  • Apple iOS vs. Android: Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics over the two-day period:
    • Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $106.50 per order compared to $84.84 for Android users, a difference 25.5 percent
    • Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 26 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 12.7 percent of all online traffic
    • Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 13.1 percent of total online sales, nearly four times that of Android, which drove 3.7 percent of all online sales
  • Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $107.67 per order while Pinterest referrals averaged $114.19 per order. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season:

  1. Department Stores:   Over the past two days, total online sales grew by 14.2 percent over 2013. Average order value was $146.03, a decrease of 9.2 percent year-over-year.

  2. Health and Beauty:  Over the past two days, total online sales decreased by 3.7 percent over 2013. Average order value was $66.85, a decrease of 2.3 percent year-over-year.

  3. Home Goods:  Over the past two days, total online sales grew by 25.1 percent over 2013. Average order value was $218.57, an increase of 9 percent year-over-year.

  4. Apparel:  Over the past two days, total online sales were flat over 2013. Average order value was $113.75, a decrease of 3.7 percent year-over-year.

These insights are delivered to retailers and marketers through IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio, drawing upon innovation developed through the company's $3.5 billion investments in commerce and customer engagement solutions, as well as expertise gained from work with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 client commerce engagements.

 

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