May 16, 2013, 4:51 PM

Moms owe smartphones and tablets a hug

Mobile commerce drives 2013 Mother’s Day web sales growth, IBM finds.

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Mother’s Day online shopping grew 15% in the week leading up to Mother’s Day (May 12), according to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark. The National Retail Federation estimates 2013 Mother’s Day online sales hit $20 billion.

Online sales were given a boost from a significant increase in mobile commerce, IBM finds. Mobile sales accounted for 17% of total Mother’s Day online sales for 2013, IBM says. That would total $3.4 billion, according to the NRF estimate. Mobile accounted for 13.8% of total web sales for Mother's Day 2012, IBM says. The 2012 holiday racked up $17.4 billion in online sales, according to the NRF estimate and IBM figure. That would put 2012 Mother's Day mobile sales at $2.4 billion, meaning mobile sales jumped 41.7% 2013 over 2012.

Mobile traffic for the week before Mother’s Day 2013 reached 25% of total traffic to retail web sites, an increase of 43% over 2012, when mobile accounted for 17.5% of total traffic, IBM says. Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad dominated mobile traffic, IBM says.

Mobile shoppers browsed and completed purchases on average in three-and-a-half minutes, while desktop shoppers took more than six minutes to complete their shopping sessions, IBM says.

IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark measures more than 1 million online transactions a day on more than 500 retail web site clients of IBM. The benchmark for Mother’s Day 2013 also finds:

  • Average order value reached $209, a 4% increase over 2012’s $201.
  • iPad conversions increased by more than 315% while iPhone conversions jumped 184%.
  • In the three weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, online jewelry sales steadily increased, nearly tripling with a 180.6% increase compared with the same period last year. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile sales reached 48% of total online jewelry sales, an increase of 38% over 2012.
  • Online sales of gifts including flowers and chocolates more than doubled the week just before Mother’s Day compared with the preceding week. For the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile accounted for 28% of total online gifts sales, up 109% from 2012’s 13.4%.
  • In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, online health and beauty sales were up 40% compared to the same period last year. Mobile accounted for 18% of total online health and beauty sales, up 16.4% from 2012’s 15.5%.
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