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IPad delivered biggest share of mobile purchases on Cyber Monday

Shoppers using the iPad on Cyber Monday drove more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 5.2 percent, according to a new report from IBM.

Mobile sales grew significantly on Cyber Monday, reaching 6.6 percent compared with just 2.3 percent a year ago, according to the IBM 2011 Cyber Monday Benchmark Report. The numbers show that mobile is outpacing online retail for growth.

“This year retailers saw a huge surge in shoppers using mobile devices to make a purchase,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Smarter Commerce, Armonk, NY.

“With that, one of the big wins was how well they served those mobile shoppers,” he said. “Retailers spent a tremendous amount this year investing in the mobile experience and consumers voted with their dollars.

“We are hearing from retailers that this is the end of the domination of the PC era and really the start of the mobile experience for consumers. All of mobile is growing at a pace that is anywhere from five to 10 times the rate that online retail is growing.”

Mobile traffic gains
In addition to the increase in mobile sales, IBM also reports that 10.8 percent of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on Cyber Monday, up from 3.9 percent in 2010. Mobile traffic averaged 14.3 percent on Black Friday.

Black Friday also put in a stronger performance in terms of mobile sales, which reached 9.8 percent versus 6.6 percent on Cyber Monday.

“The trends in the past have said that shoppers on Cyber Monday are using mobile a little bit less than on Black Friday on a percentage basis,” Mr. Squire said. “However, almost the same amount of sales from a dollar perspective was done via mobile on Black Friday as on Cyber Monday.

“Cyber Monday was the biggest ever for online retail and mobile got dwarfed by people using their PCs at work and using a PC a little bit more than on other days,” he said.

By device, Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked in first and second place for mobile device retail traffic. The iPhone accounted for 4.1 percent of all online retail traffic while the iPad accounted for 3.3 percent.

Collectively, the iPhone and iPad accounted for 7.4 percent of Cyber Monday online retail traffic versus 10.2 percent on Black Friday.

Android came in third place on Cyber Monday with 3.2 percent of online traffic. This number is up 219.6 percent from last year.

Department stores go mobile
Other mobile findings include that the bounce rate for mobile on Cyber Monday was 41.44 percent, down 3.3 percent from last year and the mobile conversion rate was 2.99 percent, up 26.4 percent from last year.

Overall, online sales were up 33 percent over 2010 on Cyber Monday and up 29.3 percent for Black Friday.

“The sector that made some great investments in mobile was department stores,” Mr. Squire said.

“They invested a lot in the mobile experience and, just looking at the numbers, they were up 60 percent for online sales,” he said.

“They are doing a great job of meeting the needs of consumers whether coming from PCs, mobile or in the stores.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York