Mobile Devices Jump as Online Shopping Tools

The consumer market may be on a bit of an upsurge, at least if technology numbers are any indication.

As we round out 2011, and the major holiday shopping season has come to a close, we can start to look at where the popular sales were over the course of the year and where growth had been occurring.  In current positions, tablets are becoming a more dominant feature of American life as over 24 million are now owned.  This does not necessarily compare to the 90 million smart phones that are in use, but the tablet market is still much smaller than that of mobile phone users.  The numbers may not show, however, how directly Apple controls this market.  As we look at the shopping numbers for 2011, we can see that Apple tablets and smartphone were dominant both as commodities and as vessels to assist in further shopping.

When the April numbers came in it was reported that a full 88% of those that did online shopping were doing so through an iOS device, meaning an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.  In December this jumped to 92%, and the Average Order Values were the highest at $123 for December.  The numbers for 2011 show that mobile shopping through these types of devices only does account for 3.74% of shopping in general, which was deciphered from 3.4 billion shopping moments that were broken down and analyzed between the months of April and December.  This may not seem a lot, but it did double from the original number of 1.87%, indicating that this is a major trend that will continue to slant upward.  Even online browsing doubled from 9% to 18%.  Original thoughts would be that this second number would increase much faster than mobile purchasing since people are believed to look at items through a mobile device and then buy them later either from a computer station or actually in store.  This was not proven to be true, and it shows that the increase is equal in both categories indicating that mobile purchasing is actually becoming a more standardized way of doing shopping.

The most significant moment for these mobile shoppers came on Thanksgiving day where 24% of those shopping were doing so on a mobile device.  This likely indicates the type of moments when the device is in use, often when you are away from the primary computer and when you have commitments that keep you out of physical retail location.  This is much higher than the average of 14% of shoppers on the mobile device, though it is unsure on how this affected Black Friday sales.

No matter how you spin this, the Apple is still dominating this online purchasing trend.  This does not mean that the Android is on the decline, and instead you can see them continuing to move upward as the Android OS jumped from 500,000 downloads in June to 700,000 in December.  What this could be saying, instead, is that Apple users are more likely to engage in online shopping through their mobile device and that their new devices are simply seeing a sharper sales curve than the Android.  The Android, in turn, is more available and reasonable to many consumers, so it may appeal to those who are not in a financial position or without the technological expertise to being shopping through mobile devices.

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