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Conversion Rates 3 Times Higher on Desktops Compared to Smartphones on Black Friday

A recent IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report provides a plethora of great statistics about online and mobile traffic as well as shopping on Black Friday and Thanksgiving. While several notable findings emerge, these analytics reinforce trends that have been observed before: consumers are using smartphones to browser but tablets and PCs to buy, and iOS device users tend to shop and spend more from their mobile devices than Android users.

There is no denying that mobile commerce is continuing grow and represent a higher portion of total eCommerce sales in the United States, but the PC is still entrenched as the leading online sales vehicle. In IBM’s U.S. Retail Black Friday Report 2014 it is shown that mobile online traffic actually exceeded PC traffic on Thanksgiving and was about 50/50 on Black Friday, but more sales were closed on a computer than a mobile device.

Mobile traffic, including smartphones and tablets, accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic on Thanksgiving Day, marking the first time mobile traffic exceeded computer online traffic on a given day, according to IBM’s metrics. Online browsing shifted ever-so-slightly back in favor of PCs on Black Friday when mobile devices accounted for 49.6 percent of all online traffic.

Digging a bit deeper it was found that Smartphones accounted for 34.7 percent of Black Friday online traffic, more than twice as much as tablets (14.6 percent). However, tablets drove 16 percent of online sales compared to less than 12 percent for smartphones on this same day. Dwarfing both smartphones and tablets were PCs, which facilitated just over 50 percent of Black Friday online traffic and 72 percent of online sales.

With PCs and tablets representing a higher percentage of online sales than traffic, and the opposite being true for smartphones, one could argue that many consumers are mainly using their smartphones with the intention of browsing, not buying. Metrics on sales conversion for Black Friday support this as well. According to IBM’s Black Friday metrics, the conversion rate for U.S. online retail sales on Smartphones was 1.7 percent, compared to 4.7 percent on tablets and 5.8 percent on PCs.

Other notable findings from the IBM U.S. Retail Black Friday Report support past claims and figures that iOS users spend more from their devices. Including smartphones and tablets, iOS users drove more traffic and more sales. iOS devices drove twice as much as traffic as Android devices (34 percent versus 15 percent), represented 22 percent of sales compared to 6 percent on Android devices, and had an average order amount nearly $24 higher.

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