The NRF reported that 2011 holiday sales were $471.5 billion, an unadjusted increase of 4.1 percent year-over-year. Lean inventories, strong promotions were contributing factors. Based on the level of discounting I witnessed, I question the margins retailers actually achieved. Regardless, this much I do know – Santa continues to go mobile.
There are numerous studies published about the number of smartphone users in the U.S. The resource I usually quote during my mobile presentations is comScore. Recently comSource indicated there are 91.4 million smartphone users (38 percent of all mobile users). Nielsen just released a higher figure and now project 44 percent of all mobile users own smartphones. One fact that is consistent, mobile was a bright spot for retailers this past holiday season. Let me share some facts:
· Google conducted research and revealed that 79 percent of consumers use their smartphones to assist smart shoppers to find product information, locate retailers and perform price comparisons; 70 percent use their smartphones when they are actually in a store.
· Mobile browsing on Black Friday for in-store and online bargains increased from 5.6 percent in 2010 to 14.3 percent in 2011.
· PayPal reported a 397 percent increase in the number of consumers shopping via PayPal Mobile on Cyber Monday 2011 compared to 2010.
· IBM Coremetrics released a study that tracked mobile usage December 25th and 26th; online sales via mobile increased year-over-year 172.9 and 117.8 percent respectively. Note: Traffic from mobile devices accounted for 18.3 percent of overall web traffic during those two days.
· Good news for those monitoring the adaption of QR codes (yours truly) during the past holiday season. A new survey indicated that half of smartphone owners scanned the 2-D codes during their purchasing process; 18 percent ended up making a purchase while 21 percent shared the information with someone.
Another one of my reliable sources, eMarketer estimates that when the final data is tabulated, 2011 mobile advertising spending will be $1.23 billion. No surprise, based on the mobile revolution we are experiencing. These expenditures which include display, search, text ads and video, will reach $4.4 billion by 2015.
Santa continues to be bullish about going mobile. Are you?