Double-Digit Mobile, Online Sales Growth Bucks Back-to-School Forecasts, IBM Reports Retailers Borrow Holiday Sales Tactics to Interest Buyers

August 23, 2013 No Comments


Armonk, N.Y. – August 22, 2013: Despite forecasts for a lackluster back-to-school season, online sales saw substantial gains from July through the third week in August, fueled by double-digit growth in mobile buying, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

As some retailers rolled out back-to-school promotions ahead of the Fourth of July and employed campaigns similar to their Cyber Monday and Black Friday promotions, Department Stores saw an increase in online sales of 33 percent over last year, powered by a 40 percent increase in mobile sales this July.

Key findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark include:


  • * The month of July saw a 15 percent increase in online sales, with an 8 percent increase in average order value, as stores rolled out back-to-school deals especially early this year. Items per order also increased more than nine percent. Department Stores in particular continued to increase online relevance by appealing to customer needs, with online sales steadily up over last  year. Their sales for the month of July were up 33 percent over last year.
  • * As retailers and marketers prep for the upcoming holiday with increased investments in mobile technologies, back-to-school sales benefited strongly. Mobile sales were up 38 percent for the entire month of July over 2012. Mobile percentage of sales was up across the board, reaching almost 22 percent in July, a 37.6 percent increase over 2012.
  • * Mobile percentage of sales peaked the second week in July, ahead of Christmas in July sales, when it reached 23.2 percent, an increase of 55  percent over the same period in 2012.  Mobile percentage of site traffic also peaked that same week at 30.9 percent, a 52 percent increase over the same period in 2012. The iPhone and iPad together were the two most popular devices for mobile shopping, with Android devices in third.


  • * Online sales defied gloomy back-to-school shopping projections with online sales and average order value up the first three weeks in August. Consumers bought laptops and school supplies earlier than ever this year, with Office Supply/Electronics online sales peaking the second week of August, up more than 35 percent over the same period last year. Improved online tablet experiences helped the iPad to drive 4.47 percent  of online traffic, an increase of 71.9 percent over the same period in 2012.
  • * The third week in August saw an average order value of $212.40, an increase of 6.5 percent thanks to big box retailers that employed. Back-to-School Cyber Monday sales on August 12. Online retail sales also saw a boost, up 13 percent over the same period in 2012.

Part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the 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 web sites.


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