E-commerce Boom: Thanksgiving Shopping Via Mobile Devices Rises 65.3%

By Anu Passary | Nov 25, 2012 09:16 AM EST

With the advent of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, more and more people are gravitating towards online shopping thanks to the convenience and ease of use the devices offer. This Thanksgiving, the tech savvy generation wasted no time in snapping up the best online bargains from e-retailers via their mobile devices, which has led to a 65.3 percent rise from 2011.

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Instead of scooting off to the brick and mortar stores to snag the deals on offer, per reports, this year, shoppers preferred to purchase goods from their mobile devices.

According to The Boston Globe, e-retailers recorded 17.4 percent more sales when compared to Thanksgiving 2011. This increase, IBM Smarter Commerce opines can be attributed to the upsurge in sales of mobile devices.

IBM Smarter Commerce, which tracks online shopping revealed that the number of consumers who made Thanksgiving purchases via mobile devices has risen 65.3 percent from 2011. Additionally, iPad users led the online shopping brigade and made up 10.7 percent of all online shopping for Nov. 22.

 "We definitely think people had their iPhones out during the dinner table conversation and then shifted over to the tablet after their pie," said Jay Henderson, strategy director for IBM Smarter Commerce. "Mobile is really having a breakout year."

What's more the pattern spilled over to Black Friday as well, with purchases via mobile devices showing a 14.3 percent jump. Per Forrester Research, currently, nearly one in five adult smartphone users in the U.S. use their devices for shopping.

One of the driving factors for the growth in online shopping is that not only can consumers shop discreetly at leisure and avoid long queues, but they also have the option to compare prices without any hassles.

With tablets and smartphones gaining popularity, people are slowly turning to the devices for "couch-shopping". What's more, research firm comScore estimates online holiday spend to touch a staggering $43.4 billion.

"The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. "This would put an exclamation point on what has already been a strong year for retail e-commerce."

However, despite the surge in mobile shopping, it continues to remain a small segment of the overall retail spending, accounting for only 5 percent of the total e-commerce.

 "Most people don't use their mobile phones when they are shopping," said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester. "There's a lot more effort that is going into the channel than honestly the numbers probably justify."

Even though mobile shopping is on the upswing, it seems most people still prefer shopping in stores.

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