May 20, 2014, 3:36 PM

Exclusive: Mobile devices enable more time for online shopping

Mobile shopping peaks between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., according to the Internet Retailer-exclusive monthly Shopgate Mobile Commerce Index. Where people used to just watch TV, they now are dividing their attention between two screens, TV and mobile, enabling more time for online shopping during the course of a typical day, Shopgate says.

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Who needs the desktop PC all the way back in the spare room when you can simply, and simultaneously, use an untethered mobile device while kicking back on your couch and watching “Game of Thrones”?

It’s this new “second screen” reality that gives consumers more time than ever before to shop online, and the numbers prove it: Mobile commerce orders peak daily between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., not when consumers are on the go but when they are firmly entrenched in their living rooms watching prime time TV, says Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer at Shopgate Inc., which builds smartphone and tablet sites and apps.

16.85% of daily mobile commerce orders in April 2014 were placed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., according to the Shopgate Mobile Commerce Index, exclusive to Internet Retailer. The index is a monthly look at mobile commerce platform provider Shopgate’s 5,500 retailer clients worldwide. Clients use a mix of smartphone sites, tablet sites, smartphone apps and tablet apps. Click here and click on Shopgate Mobile Commerce Index Part 2 to see this month’s data.

“A PC is usually in someone’s spare room or office and as such is out of the social space,” Baranoff-Rossine says. “A PC also takes time to boot up, whereas a smartphone or tablet is something you can just pick up and start using.”

As for day of the week, mobile commerce orders in April were spread out fairly evenly: 14.62% on Mondays, 17.15% on Tuesdays, 16.10% on Wednesdays, 12.82% on Thursdays, 12.11% on Fridays, 11.94% on Saturdays, and 15.24% on Sundays, the Shopgate index shows.

Looking at peak hours for mobile commerce orders by type of mobile device, the evening again rules. 4.74% of mobile orders occurred on a smartphone in the 9 p.m. hour, 4.21% on a smartphone in the 8 p.m. hour, 4.02% on a smartphone in the 10 p.m. hour, 3.76% on a smartphone in the 7 p.m. hour, and 3.47% on a smartphone in the 6 p.m. hour, the index says. 4.58% of daily mobile orders occurred on a tablet in the 9 p.m. hour, 4.19% on a tablet in the 8 p.m. hour, 3.69% on a tablet in the 10 p.m. hour, and 3.19% on a tablet in the 7 p.m. hour, the index says.

And looking at peak hours for mobile commerce orders by mobile operating system, 5.37% of daily mobile orders occurred on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch) in the 9 p.m. hour, 4.87% on an iOS device in the 8 p.m. hour, 4.60% on an iOS device in the 10 p.m. hour, 3.92% on an iOS device in the 7 p.m. hour, 3.50% on an iOS device in the 6 p.m. hour, and 3.24% on an iOS device in the 5 p.m. hour, the Shopgate index says. 3.96% of daily mobile orders occurred on Android smartphones and tablets in the 11 p.m. hour, 3.53% on Android smartphones and tablets in the 8 p.m. hour, 3.11% on Android smartphones and tablets in the 11 p.m. hour, and 3.04% on Android smartphones and tablets in the 7 p.m. hour, the index shows.

The data shows that mobile commerce peaks during consumers’ leisure time—mobile devices are replacing PCs during these hours of the day, Baranoff-Rossine says.

“You can now browse freely in the evenings in front of the TV, you’re no longer tied to a desk,” he says. “Peak ordering hours correlate with peak traffic hours.”

Follow Bill Siwicki, managing editor, mobile commerce, at Internet Retailer, at @IRmcommerce.

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