January 17, 2012, 10:10 AM

Android use grows during the holidays, but iOS still rules

Some Ability Commerce clients see big spikes in mobile commerce.

Lead Photo

Android usage grows, but iOS devices remain the most popular at this group of retailers.

Holiday shoppers bought much more from smartphones during the recent season than in the past from retailers using Ability Commerce’s services, Ability Commerce says.

To gain a deeper understanding of mobile commerce, Ability Commerce conducted an analysis of holiday mobile activity at three of its e-retailer clients, the names of which it declines to disclose. The company also would not disclose sales totals.

The number of transactions made with devices using the Android operating system was 52% higher than the 2010 holiday season, with revenue from those transactions increasing 173%. Ability Commerce cited an increase in the number of Android tablets during 2011 as the likely reason for that surge.

But, transactions made with devices using iOS, Apple Inc.’s mobile operating system, increased even more sharply. There was a 338% increase in the number of iOS transactions and a 280% jump in revenue from these transactions, Ability Commerce says.

Overall, mobile commerce accounted for 5.4% of the transactions for this group of retailers, up from 2.6% in December 2010, Ability Commerce says.

“We expected mobile shopping to be a robust growth channel this year, but these figures really point to a changing paradigm in how consumers shop,” says Diane Buzzeo, Ability Commerce CEO. “We emphasized to our clients how important mobile would be throughout the year, particularly during the holidays, and we expect this trend to continue in 2012 and beyond.”

The iPad, in particular, stood out as a favored mobile commerce tool, Ability Commerce says. Revenues from iPad transactions were 33% higher than both the iPhone and Android revenues combined, it says.

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