Mobile Devices and Holiday Online Retail Sales

Last week we reviewed several important online retail sales tipping points that were crossed this year. This week we’ll dig deeper into the contribution of mobile devices to those trends by delving into what is happening during the holidays.

A large part of the increase in 2013 holiday online retail sales is from mobile devices – smart phones and tablets. The increase has been explosive.

Three years ago mobile devices accounted for just 4% of Cyber Monday traffic according to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark report. The share IBM attributed to mobile devices on Cyber Monday this year grew to almost one third of all sales.

According to USA Today the mobile device share of sales on Black Friday was even higher at 40%.

Mobile Devices Continue to Proliferate

A recent article in the New York Times reports that Samsung shipped 215 million smart phones last year and is expected to ship 350 million this year.

Per Apple Insider, Apple shipped 136 million iPhones in 2012. Projections are not available yet from Apple for 2013. Apple and Samsung combined had 65% of the 2012 market total of 545 million units.

What About Brick and Mortar Sales?

A very large number of consumers have mobile devices and using them for shopping. Does that mean brick and mortar retail is going by the wayside? Not any time soon. But mobile devices do play an important role.

Here’s a relevant data point: According to a 2013 Accenture research report 65% of shoppers will browse online (with a mobile device or a PC) but then buy in the store. The reasons? Almost half of the respondents said they wanted to avoid shipping costs. And almost half also said they wanted to actually see and touch the product.

Equilibrium Has Not Been Reached Yet

Retailers will continue to sell more units online in the coming years but brick and mortar sales will continue as well. We have not reached the equilibrium point between the two as yet. Why? The trends discussed in the EDI blog post last week and the trends reviewed above are still increasing. Plan on online sales continuing to increase until year-over-year increases start to slow.

What Does This Mean For Your Small Business?

If your product is expensive to ship or your analysis of your consumer indicates they want to experience your product before buying, then it less likely your retail customers will want to discuss your company drop shipping directly to consumers on their behalf. Otherwise, be prepared for a drop ship discussion with your buyer.

We have clients who do a combination of both drop ship and delivery to distribution centers for the same retail customer.

CovalentWorks can assist you with a web-based EDI solution that meets your customers’ developing requirements. Contact us anytime to learn more.

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  1. Pingback: The Year in Review -  CovalentWorks EDI Solutions Blog

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