New data from IBM Digital Analytics shows that mobile online traffic and sales in the United States soared in the fourth quarter of 2013, accounting for 35 percent of all online traffic and for 16.6 percent of all online sales, up significantly from the same quarter in 2012.
Smartphones drove 21.3 percent of all online traffic, almost twice that of tablets at 12.8 percent; it looks like smartphones are for browsing.
But tablets outranked smartphones when it came to sales, with tablets registering 11.5 percent of all online sales, compared to just 5 percent for smartphones.
Average order sizes were higher on tablets too: $118.09 per order compared to $104.72 per order for smartphone users.
IBM Digital Analytics also broke down trends by retail subcategories, as shown below:
- Department Stores: Fourth quarter online sales grew by 62.8 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 49.6 percent year over year.
- Health and Beauty: Fourth quarter online sales grew by 14.7 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 81.7 percent year over year.
- Home Goods: Fourth quarter online sales grew by more than 46.4 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 38 percent year over year.
- Apparel: Fourth quarter online sales grew by 10.2 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 54.5 percent year over year.
These numbers provide only further quantification of shifting lifestyle trends in the U.S. - more and more people are doing more important things, like spending money, via smartphones and mobile devices. Naturally, these translates to a greater need for mobile-enabled contact centers that support voice and web-based channels.