On Smartphone-Optimized Sites, Black Friday Sales Up 187%, Thanksgiving Sales Up 258% Over Last Year (TechCrunch)

Mobile’s portion of online shopping continues to grow – this Black Friday, for example, smartphones drove a quarter of all online traffic, and 7.2% of all online sales, according to IBM Benchmark data. But the traffic and sales growth among retailers who have optimized their sites for mobile is, for obvious reasons, even more pronounced. Compared to last year, smartphone-optimized sites saw 75.65% more visits, and sales were up by 186.54% on Black Friday 2013 compared with the same day last year.

This data comes from Branding Brand, an e-commerce platform which designs mobile experiences for more than 200 of the top retailers worldwide, including American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Calvin Klein, Crate & Barrel, Nasty Gal, Kate Spade, Bath & Body Works, Brookstone, The Children’s Place, Steve Madden, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and dozens of others.

Their Mobile Commerce Index then samples trends from across the company’s client base in a number of industries, like apparel, health and beauty, and home goods, allowing for insight that’s specific to those commerce sites which have been built for smartphones, as opposed to non-optimized sites browsed on mobile, but designed for the desktop. It’s the largest index of its kind, in terms of looking into smartphone-optimized website data and trends for online retailers.

According Branding Brand, iOS sent 66.62% of mobile site visits on Black Friday, while Android sent just 32.97% of the 9.3 million total visits accounted for across the sample 152 smartphone-optimized websites. These visits produced 174,111 orders, with a $93.20 average order value – an increase of 22.08% in average order value over Black Friday 2012. (Also of note, the 2012 Branding Brand Index had only accounted for 46 smartphone sites – another figure which has increased year-over-year as Branding Brand itself grew, raising another $9.5 million in the process.)

In addition, Branding Brand’s index saw smartphone traffic accounting for 34.36% of its clients’ total e-commerce traffic on Black Friday – a figure that’s higher than the nearly 25% which IBM’s Benchmark data reported from a wider swath of 800 some online retailers and million of transactions. But that makes sense because Branding Brand’s clients are those who have chosen to embrace mobile by building native apps and optimized sites.

And since Black Friday scooted its way into Thanksgiving Day this year, it’s worth also noting that smartphone-optimized sites drove 69% more visits and increased sales by 258.18% this year over Thanksgiving 2012, according to Branding Brand’s Index. Average order values were roughly the same as on Black Friday, however, at $92.55. (Cyber Monday Sales are still in the works as today’s the day. We’ll update later when they become available.)

Branding Brand’s data generally holds up against other industry surveys and trends. For instance, mobile app performance management company Crittercism just recently commissioned a third-party survey into mobile shopping trends to learn more about users’ attitudes toward mobile (via Dimensional Research).

They found that 86% of U.S. users have made a purchase using either a smartphone or tablet, with 69% of iOS users having made a purchase of over $100, while 43% of Android users did – figures that indicate mobile shopping is not seen by consumers as some separate lighter-weight behavior meant only for minor purchases, but one that, for many users, is not much different in terms of spending limits or order size, versus shopping online via the desktop.

Update: Branding Brand’s Cyber Monday data just came through last night (Tues., 12/3/13). Based on Adobe’s reports, Branding Brand was responsible for nearly 10% of total US Cyber Monday sales on smartphones. Below are the new figures:

  • 8,385,041 visitors (66.75% iOS; 32.87% Android)
  • 60,788,678 page views (66.01% iOS; 33.57% Android)
  • 190,351 orders (70.06% iOS; 29.72% Android)
  • $82.16 average order value ($83.23 iOS; $79.68 Android)
  • 29.31% of total e-commerce traffic came from smartphones

These represent the following gains over 2012:

  • Visits increased 78.02%
  • Page views increased 103.91%
  • Average order value decreased 4.44%
  • Mobile sales increased 149.91%

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Topics: Trends Report Media Coverage Company

On Christmas, Apple iOS Drives Five Times More Sales than Android (Internet Retailer)

Web sales on Christmas Day 2013 reinforced a major trend in Internet retailing: Consumers who shop on Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads are the driving force behind mobile commerce.

Devices running Apple iOS accounted for more than five times the online sales on Christmas Day of sales on devices running Google Inc.’s Android, finds IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. Sales on iOS devices reached 23.0% of total web sales on Dec. 25, 2013, compared with only 4.6% on Android smartphones and tablets, IBM reports. Apple devices also led over Android devices in mobile traffic, 32.6% versus 14.8%, and mobile average order value, $93.94 versus $48.10, IBM says.

There are a variety of reasons why Apple iOS device owners are more valuable to retailers than Android device users. For example, while Android has a big lead in smartphone market share over iPhones (52.2% for Android, 40.6% for iPhones, finds comScore Inc.), iPads hold a commanding lead over all comers in the tablet market (iPads generate 76% of tablet traffic, finds web and mobile analytics firm Chitika), and mobile buying is much bigger on tablets. Smartphones drove 28.5% of all online traffic on Christmas compared with tablets at 18.1%, making smartphones the browsing device of choice, IBM says. When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 19.4% of all online sales, more than twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 9.3%, IBM says. Tablet users also averaged $95.61 per order versus smartphone users at $85.11.

Another reason why Apple iOS device owners are more valuable shoppers is because most consumers who buy Apple mobile devices are paying a premium price for a premium device to do many wireless data-intensive activities, shifting their web habits from desktop to mobile, while many Android users pay very low prices—or are given Android smartphones for free as part of a deal—simply to obtain a new replacement phone without much focus on Internet connectivity, mobile experts say.

“The only mobile users that really materially matter for needle-moving commerce impact are those who are actively engaged with their mobile devices and have a high level of comfort with using the devices for things like apps, web browsing and making purchases,” says Dave Lawson, director of mobile and digital unification at web and mobile marketing firm Knotice. “Apple’s devices yesterday and today are more expensive than default options like Android devices. That in itself pre-qualifies an audience to be able to spend. Combine that with the comfort level iOS tablet and smartphone users have with their devices and the relative security iOS devices promise and you have people with more money, who spend more time in apps and on the mobile web, who feel more comfortable with transacting on these devices, and you have a recipe for a smaller percent of owners driving the highest percent of revenue. Put another way, the sheer number of Android installations gives the mobile operating system the market share that is impressive, but how those people use those devices on the whole is markedly different than those who intentionally seek out the Apple iOS ecosystem.”

And the demographics of iOS users are much more favorable to commerce and shopping in general, says Jeffrey R. Hennion, president of m-commerce technology vendor Branding Brand. He says about 80% of the company’s retailer clients’ mobile sales come from iOS devices.

“Apple users are more likely to use their smartphones as portable research devices and shopping tools as opposed to primarily just a phone,” Hennion says. “Also, the proliferation of apps in the iOS world touching every possible interaction of shopping, including in-store, drives the share of mobile commerce coming from iPhones much higher. The same holds true in the tablet world.”

Overall, mobile devices accounted for 48% of all online traffic and 29% of all online sales during the 2013 holiday season, IBM finds.

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Topics: Trends Report Media Coverage Company

Branding Brand "Ranked as the Leader" in Mobile Commerce by Global Independent Research Firm (Press Release)

Branding Brand, the world's fastest-growing mobile commerce platform provider, today announced it has been ranked as the leader in Forrester Research, Inc.'s report entitled, "The Forrester Wave™: Mobile Commerce Solution Providers, Q4 2013."

According to the report, "Branding Brand leads the pack. Branding Brand obtained the highest scores for both its current offering and its market presence. The firm stands out from the crowd with a robust and rapidly growing client base in retail, a focus on pushing innovation, and a strong technology platform. It goes beyond being a mobile technology provider -- clients find particular value from the hands-on mCommerce consulting and retail insights that the firm brings to the table, the program management skills, and the firm's responsiveness to client ideas. Beyond a strong grounding in consumer-facing mobile Web and apps, the firm has been successful in growing its installed base with existing clients to power other commerce experiences, particularly in-store kiosk and associate clienteling apps."

"Branding Brand is a retail mobile agency that has invested in building a mobile commerce platform rather than doing bespoke client implementations," said the report. "Unlike other mobile agencies, Branding Brand's investment in the underlying mCommerce platform allows it to rapidly push out new mobile innovations (e.g., Passbook) across its client base at a low cost."

"We are proud to see our platform ranked as the leader in Mobile Commerce Solution Providers," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. "Now, it is our responsibility to continue innovating and earn this honor every day. We look forward to the challenge and are excited for the future of mobile commerce."

Branding Brand powers mobile commerce sites and apps for over 200 of the world's leading retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, and Ralph Lauren. Founded in 2008 by three friends from Carnegie Mellon University, the company launched a mobile platform at the end of 2009 to seamlessly extend brands into optimized experiences for smartphones, tablets, and in-store. It is now the largest m-commerce provider to the Internet Retailer Top 500. For more information, visit www.brandingbrand.com, or follow @brandingbrand on Twitter.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at: http://brandingbrand.com/wave

Topics: Company Press Release