Mobile online sales throughout the Christmas and New Year period saw a massive boost, with customers turning to e-commerce at every opportunity.
Boxing Day sales on more than 200 websites were measured by commerce platform provider IBM, who found a 40.4% boost in sales compared to the same day a year earlier.
This is despite a large number of shops being closed, suggesting more people are prepared to purchase online rather than face the high street sales. This is a trend which we have seen emerging as the wider public has become increasingly tech-savvy, but it seems that this year it has reached a new level.
Impact of new devices
Most traffic was from Smartphones and tablets according to the company, with 58% of customers logging onto the net in this fashion.
Mobile purchasing accounted for 45% of sales, a rise of 63% on Boxing Day in 2012, with tablet users driving sales – 29.4% of all online sales came from such devices.
Meanwhile Smartphone users drove 15.8% of sales. They spent around £5 less on average than a tablet user, whose average spend was around £83.55.
Apple devices led the way in terms of specific sales, with iOS operating systems behind almost 42% of all online traffic compared to around 15% on android devices.
“This is the first time that traffic on mobile devices has outstripped the PC,” explained James Lovell, Smarter Commerce retail solutions consultant, Europe at IBM.
“Mobile has rapidly become the dominant channel and now retailers really need to look at the role that each device is going to play within the overall customer journey and decision-making process.
“The key challenge will be how they maximise the effectiveness of these devices to help augment the in-store customer experience, as well as the traditional digital only channels.”
Consumers taking control
The delivery and return methods of customers are also changing according to CollectPlus, a company that has pioneered convenience store collection.
They said the last parcel collection was recorded at 23.59 on Christmas Eve, while the first return took place just over an hour later at 01.12 on Christmas Day.
“It is yet another example of how consumers are increasingly making the most of being able to choose when and where they want to take receipt of their online Christmas purchases – and then return them if necessary,” explained Neil Ashworth, chief executive of CollectPlus.
Prepaid cards are ideal for purchasing goods online as they provide a high level of security should anything go wrong, while the general management of spending is made considerably easier.