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Online sales are up 18.7% leading into Thanksgiving

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:11 PST

Web shoppers bought more often, but spent less per order during the weekend before Thanksgiving compared with the same period in 2013, IBM reports.

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With many retailers promoting their Black Friday offers well ahead of Thanksgiving, online shoppers scooped up plenty of bargains during the weekend before the big holiday. Online sales on Nov. 22 and 23, the weekend before Thanksgiving, were up 18.7% compared to the same period last year. But consumers spent 5.4% less per order than they did last year, spending an average of $112.86 this year.

IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark report pulls data from IBM’s work with 8,000 brands and 35,000 e-commerce clients. IBM will continue to update its data throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.

Consumer spending continues to shift to mobile phones and tablets from laptop and desktop computers. Computers accounted for only 51.2% of traffic and 73.4% of sales, compared with 63.0% of traffic and 81.0% of sales during the weekend before Thanksgiving last year.

Smartphones drove 31.8% of online traffic, and tablets 16.5%. That compares with 22.0% of traffic for smartphones and 14.0% for tablets the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2013. (The remaining 0.5% of traffic attributed to mobile devices in 2014 came from e-readers, IBM says.) Mobile sales accounted for 26.6% of all online sales, up from more than 18.0% in 2013. Tablet sales accounted for 17.3% of online sales, and smartphones accounted 9.2%. In 2013, tablet users drove 13.4% of online sales, and smartphone users drove 5.1%.

Although total sales were up, consumers spent 5.4% less per order this year than last year. The average order value this year was $112.86, with shoppers purchasing an average of 3.2 items per order, IBM says. . Consumers spent on average of 17.0% more on desktops ($123.29) than on their mobile devices ($105.37).

Consumers shopping on Apple devices outspent consumers using Google Android devices. Apple users spent on average $111.55 per order compared to $86.56 for Android users, a difference of 28.9%. Users of Apple iPhones and iPads accounted for 33% of total online traffic, while Android device users accounted for 15.3%.

The report also broke down online sales for retail categories. Online sales for department stores were up 18.7 from 2013, with an average order value of $149.54, a 7.5% decrease. Online sales in the health and cosmetics category were up 14.8% from 2013, with an average order value of $70.57, a 5% increase from 2013. Online sales of home goods were up 20% from 2013, with an average order value of $207.51, a 2.7% decrease. Online apparel sales were up 3.8% from 2013, with an average order value of $120.70, a 3.3% decrease.

By Abby Callard Associate Editor
November 25, 2014, 10:59 AM

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