Consistent Shopping Experiences: Lessons from the 2011 Holiday Season

The flurry of the 2011 holiday shopping season has passed and we’re
starting to see some data and larger trends emerge.

The 2011 holiday season saw more retail sales, but fewer in-store
shoppers, with sales growing 3.5% but foot traffic declining 3.1%.

Where did the additional sales come from?

Mobile and e-commerce. From 2011 to 2012, growth in online spending
during the holiday season jumped up 15%, from $32.4 billion to $37.2

More Technology, More Choice

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with different technologies,
with 76% of consumers researched online prior to buying over holiday
season. More tellingly, retailers saw a more mobile shopping season.  On
average, retailers’ sites saw:

  • 12% of total visits from mobile
  • 9% of total sales conducted on mobile
  • 173% increase in mobile shopping on Christmas Day.

The largest gains were posted by smartphones users, 80% of whom used
them more frequently for shopping.  Complementing smartphones were
tablet users, 70% of whom used them more frequently this year, while 38%
spent more money on them this season.

With such a shift to smartphones and tablets, retailers increasingly
need to provide shoppers with great experiences across devices. In fact,
25% of shoppers shopped on more than one device type (e.g. phone and
tablet), including 42% who used more than one device at the same time.

The data reveals that 69% of shoppers started on 1 device and then
continued on another, demonstrating both the complexity of shopping
experiences as well as showing the critical need for e-commerce
retailers to keep shopping cart contents persistent across all

Lessons Learned

In summary, the 3 main lessons from the Google & Ipsos post holiday
shopping study were:

  1. Online sales drove growth
  2. Holiday shoppers expected your store at their fingertips
  3. Consumers were “always on”

With our customers we’ve been busy talking about mobile commerce on
tablets. We believe that 2012 will be a huge year for tablet commerce
for many reasons.

Across data source we can see on tablets that average order values are
significantly higher(50% according to an Adobe study), but shoppers
spend more time and engaged deeper with content.

The key takeaway?

To keep up with shoppers, mobile e-commerce retailers need to invest
consistently across all devices – mobile, tablet, and desktop – to
ensure the best possible experience, no matter how shoppers visit.

A consistent and excellent experience keeps your brand top of mind,
engaging and available in all the ways people are shopping.


Smartphones and tablets influence consumer purchasing decisions on
mobile, online and in store – Google Mobile Ads Blog

Post Holiday Learning for 2012 – Think Insights with Google

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