This Holiday Season, More Consumers Are Shopping via Mobile

In the United States, Thanksgiving means a lot more than eating Turkey and watching football.  It is the start to the holiday season, and the time when shopping really ramps up.

Retailers trying to tempt consumers into purchasing are giving them more shopping options, especially in the area of mobile.  In 2011, the number of major retailers with mobile websites went up 210 percent, and those with a mobile application rose 278 percent, according to consultants at Acuity Group.

This year, shoppers really took advantage the ability to shop via mobile over the Thanksgiving weekend.

PayPal saw an astonishing mobile sales increase.  They said that they had a 516 percent increase in mobile payments globally this Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  Moreover, PayPal said the increase in mobile payments on “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after Thanksgiving, rose 514 percent from the same period last year.

PayPal Shopping Specialist Claudia Lombana said on the PayPal blog, “Based on the volume of mobile purchases made throughout the weekend, it seems that as we predicted throughout 2011, mobile shopping has hit its stride this holiday season.”

IBM Coremetrics looked at overall mobile device use.  The company found that on Cyber Monday alone, 10.8 percent of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, while mobile sales reached 6.6 percent.

But which  devices are consumers using most for mobile shopping and buying?  Tablets, notably the iPad.  IBM’s Smarter Commerce Marketing estimated that 35 percent of all mobile sales are going through the iPad.  This makes sense because of tablets’ bigger screens and easy web surfing capabilities, but we do also wonder about the security provided on these, given their fairly recent entrance onto the market. As they become ever-ubiquitous devices – used for work, play, banking and now shopping – it’s vital that all devices and all service providers facilitate secure engagement.

It will be interesting to see the statistics on mobile shopping after the holiday season is complete.  What do you think? Will the 2011 holidays be “the season of the mobile”?  Watch this space, and we will revisit it next month.