Mobile Sales Rise 42% As The New School Year Begins

Towards the tail end of the back-to-school shopping season, U.S. e-Commerce and mobile sales experienced a surge. During August 2015, U.S. e-Commerce sales increased by approximately 12.0% over the same period in 2014, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. During the same period of time, mobile sales swelled by approximately 42.0%, making up 25.3% of all online sales.

For the first time, consumers used their smartphones more than tablets to complete their back-to-school shopping. In fact, smartphones accounted for 12.8% of all online sales, while tablets drove 12.5% of sales. Additionally, smartphones generated 36.9% of all online traffic, while tablets were only responsible for 12.5%.

Three of the best-selling retail categories during the month of August include Apparel, Department Stores and Home Goods, according to the Digital Analytics Benchmark:


  • Apparel: Monthly e-Commerce sales grew by more than 15% over the same period last year. Mobile accounted for 25.3% of all online sales;

  • Department Stores: Online sales grew by 13.7% over the same month in 2014, and mobile sales accounted for more than 30% of all online sales.

  • Home Goods: Monthly e-Commerce sales grew by more than 12.6% over the same period last year. Mobile sales accounted for 22.5% of all online sales.

Throughout August, shoppers also used their mobile devices to browse deals, with mobile accounting for nearly half (49.4%) of all online traffic, while desktops accounted for 50.3% of online traffic. This is a significant change over August 2014, when e-Commerce traffic via desktops (58.2%) far exceeded mobile devices (41.5%).

Despite the momentum of smartphones, shoppers still their tablets while buying higher-priced items. Tablet users averaged $116.97 per order, while smartphone users averaged $105.54 per order. However, desktops still claim the highest average order value of all other channels ($134.25).


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