Mo­bile use drives US hol­i­day shop­ping gains

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -


Amer­i­cans are turn­ing to their mo­bile de­vices for deals to kick off the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son, with re­tail trends in­creas­ingly up­ended by ever-present smart­phones.

Ac­cord­ing to Adobe Dig­i­tal In­sights, the four-day Thanks­giv­ing Day week­end that nor­mally marks the start of the hol­i­day sea­son saw on­line sales of $36.5 bil­lion, up seven per­cent from last year-more than a third of that com­ing from mo­bile de­vices. The lat­est fig­ures showed the di­min­ish­ing im­por­tance of events such as “Black Fri­day,” the block­buster sales day fol­low­ing the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day on Thurs­day, and “Cy­ber Mon­day,” a tra­di­tion dat­ing back to days when con­sumers waited to use their of­fice high-speed con­nec­tions for on­line pur­chases.

Data re­leased ear­lier by the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion showed rel­a­tively flat to­tal re­tail sales for Black Fri­day, not­ing that 44 per­cent shopped on­line, com­pared to 40 per­cent who went in stores. Plenty of bar­gain-hunters took a break from Thanks­giv­ing fes­tiv­i­ties on Thurs­day to shop-with on­line sales to­tal­ing $1.93 bil­lion, and 40 per­cent of the to­tal on tablets or smart­phones ($771 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to Adobe.

Data from IBM, mean­while, showed US hol­i­day re­tail trends catch­ing on glob­ally. IBM said global re­tail­ers saw a 24 per­cent in­crease in on­line sales as the week­end kicked off, with a ma­jor Bri­tish re­tailer re­port­ing 2,100 hits per se­cond in the early hours of Black Fri­day. “It is clear, on­line shop­ping dur­ing the US hol­i­day pe­riod has be­come a global phe­nom­e­non,” said Har­riet Green, gen­eral man­ager at IBM Com­merce, which man­ages sys­tems for re­tail­ers. IBM said pre-hol­i­day on­line shop­ping was up 10 per­cent over 2015, and that this mo­men­tum likely pointed to sim­i­lar gains for the early sea­son.

Shop­ping Mon­day

Adobe said Black Fri­day set a new record by sur­pass­ing the $3 bil­lion mark for the first time ($3.34 bil­lion), with the first-ever day of mo­bile sales top­ping $1 bil­lion. For Cy­ber Mon­day, over­all on­line sales were ex­pected to be even big­ger-$3.39 bil­lion, with mo­bile ac­count­ing for 35 per­cent of the to­tal, Adobe said. Smart­phones were driv­ing more than twice as many sales as tablets on Mon­day, at 25 per­cent to 10 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey. On­line pay­ments firm PayPal mean­while re­ported “dou­ble digit growth in pay­ment vol­ume” on mo­bile de­vices dur­ing the first eight hours of Cy­ber Mon­day. — AFP

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