IBM Says Mobile Sparks Back-to-School Sales

Aug 22, 2013 3:34 PM  By

Online sales saw significant gains for back-to-school in July and through the third week of August, according to a recent IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report.   IBM attributed back-to-school gains to double-digit growth in mobile sales.

Department stores in particular saw a 33% increase in online sales compared to last year and a 40% increase in mobile device sales in July.

In July, online sales saw a 15% increase with an 8% increase in average order value as stores rolled out back-to-school earlier this year, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report.

Items per order increased more than 9%.  Department stores continued to increase online relevance by appealing to customer needs, with online sales steadily up over last year.  Sales were up 33% over last year.

Mobile sales in July were up 38% compared to last year, as retailers prepare for the holiday season with increased investments in mobile technologies, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report.

Mobile percentage sales have been up across the board.  Mobile percentage of sales reached almost 22% in July, a 37.6% increase over 2012.

According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report, the mobile percentage of sales peaked during the second week of July.  This was ahead of Christmas in July sales, when it reached 23.2%, an increase of 55% during the same time last year.

The percentage of mobile site traffic also peaked during the same week at 30.9%, a 52% increase over the same period in 2012. The two most popular devices were iPhone and iPad for mobile shopping, with Android coming in third.crosschannel-devices-full

During the first three weeks of August, the average order value was up with consumers purchasing laptops and school supplies earlier this year.  Office supplies and electronics online sales peaked during the second week of August at 35% over last year.

According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report, improved online tablet experiences helped the iPad drive 4.47% of online traffic, an increase of 71.9% over last year.

Average order value for the third week of August was $212.40, an increase of 6.5%. Online retail sales also saw a lift of 13% compared to last year.

Part of of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative,  IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark is an analytics-based, peer level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results from more than 700 leading U.S. retail websites.