As research firms continue to predict higher mobile sales this holiday season, retailers are seeing those results already.
This past weekend (Nov. 23 and Nov. 24), online sales were 30 percent higher than the pre-Thanksgiving weekend in 2012, according to comScore. IBM Corp. also reported that online sales rose 19 percent last weekend. For purchases made from desktop and laptop computers alone, online retail sales increased 14 percent Nov. 1 through November 24, comScore reported.
"The 2013 online holiday shopping season is off to a solid start," Andrew Lipsman, comScore's vice president of marketing and insights, told Internet Retailer.
Importantly, 18 percent of online sales this past weekend came from mobile devices and accounted for 37 percent of online traffic. And this mobile traffic is only expected to grow for the remainder of the holiday season.
In one study, 25 percent of mothers polled expected to use mobile devices at least half of the time they are shopping at a physical store location during the holiday season. 56 percent said they would use their mobile devices to track down discounts or coupons, while 50 percent planned to compare prices, according to the eMarketer study.
"In the 2013 holiday season, mobile's biggest impact will be facilitating cross-channel experiences, as consumers are more likely to use mobile devices to research a product and read customer reviews than to actually make purchases on their devices," a Forrester report said, Internet Retailer reported.
But it's not just moms who will be using their smartphones for research and purchasing. Forrester projects that 186 million U.S. consumers will own smartphones by the end of the holiday season, and 87 million will own tablets. That represents a lot of Americans with increased mobile buying power.
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