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Shoppers started consulting these mobile devices early in the season, several retailers report. For eBay's marketplace, U.S. mobile sales volume rose 133% year over year on Thanksgiving and 153% on the day after the holiday. On Cyber Monday, eBay's U.S. mobile sales volume more than doubled.
Mobile commerce sales doubled year over year over for the long Thanksgiving weekend at Wine.com Inc. 22% of total sales for the period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday came through Wine.com's m-commerce site, its iPad app and customers shopping the Wine.com e-commerce site on a tablet, CEO Rich Bergsund says. He says Wine.com's mobile conversion rate also increased 15% year over year for the weekend. Tablet sales made up about 90% of mobile sales, with two-thirds of tablet sales coming through the browser and one-third stemming from the retailer's tablet app.
Such strong results reinforced Bergsund's plans to focus more on mobile this year. The retailer has new mobile products in the works under the Wine.com and WineShopper brands, and it is now working with wine-related apps, such as Hello Vino, paying them affiliate fees for directing traffic to Wine.com's mobile site.
Stronger mobile marketing likely will be on the to-do lists of other online retailers, along with finding creative ways to keep shoppers engaged beyond just the peak days of November and December 2013, and coming up with a strategy to deal with a shorter holiday season. But they better get to work. The clock is ticking.