RichRelevance Holiday Shopping Study: Mobile Matters

iPad and iPhone shoppers account for 90% of all mobile purchases; spend 19% more per order than Android users

San Francisco, CA – Dec. 21, 2011 – Retailers will ring in the New Year next week having wrapped up a successful holiday shopping season that saw consumers utilizing more channels to interact with their stores – predominantly through mobile devices. This is a trend that will continue to accelerate with more than 90 million smartphone users and 24 million tablet users in the US. In this changing technology landscape, RichRelevance, the global leader in dynamic personalization for Retail, today released its inaugural Holiday Shopping Study to give companies new insight into how these consumers shop and buy. The study analyzes 3.4 billion shopping sessions between April and December to uncover the trends that have shaped Holiday 2011 and will define 2012.

“The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic’s doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating,” said David Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance. “In order to succeed in this dynamic market, retailers and brands must ensure they are addressing relevance throughout the channels where people are shopping, ensuring a seamless experience across the interplay of device, context and consumer behavior.”

Key findings from the Holiday Shopping Study include:

• Mobile Continues Strong 9-Month Growth: In the last nine months, the share of U.S. online retail dollars attributable to mobile devices has doubled from 1.87 percent in April of 2011 to 3.74 percent in December 2011. RichRelevance also tracked a spectacular increase in mobile traffic as share of commerce page views with more than 15 percent of shopping sessions occurring on mobile devices. In April of 2011, just under 9 percent of all shoppers were browsing digital aisles via a mobile device. By December of 2011, the share has more than doubled, reaching 18 percent of all consumers.

• Mobile Percentage of Overall Sales: Shoppers purchasing from their mobile devices represented just over 3 percent of total sales.

• Thanksgiving And Weekends: After enjoying their holiday meal, consumers got busy shopping and jumped online: on Thanksgiving, 24 percent of all shoppers were on a mobile device, the highest share of online shopping between Nov 1 and Dec 18. In general, weekends and holidays are prime time for mobile shopping: for the six week period from Nov 1 to Dec 18 on average 14 percent of shoppers were on mobile devices. On weekends it jumps up a notch: on both Saturday and Sunday, 17 percent of the browsers are on mobile devices.

• iPad and iPhone Dominate Mobile Shopping: Apple mobile devices account for the bulk of all online non-desktop sales: just over 92% of the sales originated from an iPad or an iOS-enabled device in December 2011, up from 88 percent in April. Apple mobile devices also have a larger AOV compared to other mobile platforms ($123 for Apple vs. $101 for Android in December 2011) – and far outstrip desktop orders ($87)

• Average Order Value Slips – But Mobile Stays Strong: Overall average order value (AOV) declined beginning in November 2011, due to economic factors and the influx of shoppers during the holiday period when there are more buyers and orders tend to be frequent and smaller. However the AOV on mobile devices remained stronger. In April, desktop and mobile-originated online average order sales (AOV) were neck-and-neck ($149 and $153, respectively). Now, in mid-December, mobile AOV is averaging $120 compared with desktop orders, which have slid to $110.

The Holiday Shopping Study analyzes the shopping patterns of US online consumers. The study is based on more than 3.4 billion online shopping sessions, which took place between April 1, 2011 and December 18, 2011 on the web sites of US online retailers. These retailers include mass merchants, as well as small and specialty retailers, including 10 of the 25 largest retailers on the web.

About RichRelevance
RichRelevance powers personalized shopping experiences for the world’s largest and most innovative retail brands, including Walmart, Sears, Target and others. Founded and led by the e-commerce expert who helped pioneer personalization at, RichRelevance helps retailers increase sales and customer engagement by recommending the most relevant products to consumers regardless of the channel they are shopping. RichRelevance has delivered more than $3 billion in attributable sales for its retail clients to date, and is accelerating these results with the introduction of a new form of digital advertising called Shopping Media which allows manufacturers to engage shoppers where it matters most – in the digital aisles on the largest retail sites in world. RichRelevance is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Seattle, Boston and London. For more information, please visit

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This post was written by RichRelevance

ABOUT RichRelevance
RichRelevance is the global leader in experience personalization, driving digital growth and brand loyalty for more than 200 of the world’s largest B2C and B2B brands and retailers. The company leverages advanced AI technologies to bridge the experience gap between marketing and commerce to help digital marketing leaders stage memorable experiences that speak to individuals – at scale, in real time, and across the customer lifecycle. Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.
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