Consumers increasingly were not just browsing but also buying from their mobile devices in the last month of the holiday season, according to data from search marketing firm NetElixir.
The conversion rate from mobile devices increased to 1.45% between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, from 1.15% during the same period last year, NetElixir says, based on an analysis of 90 million visits to retailer client websites. However, because consumers typically spend more when shopping on desktops than on smartphones and tablets, the average order value decreased 5.4%.
“Due to an increase in mobile conversions, the average order value went down,” says NetElixir CEO and founder Udayan Bose. “Think of it this way: more purchases, but less spend per purchase.”
Overall, purchases made via mobile phones accounted for 31.3% of e-commerce sales, compared with just under 30% in 2015, according to NetElixir’s data. Furthermore, mobile accounted for 54% of traffic compared with about 51% in the year-ago period.
Based on its client data, NetElixir estimates e-commerce sales between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day increased 10.4% year over year. This is slower than the 13% growth rates NetElixir reported in 2015 and 2014.
“We attributed the conservative growth figures this year to several factors, like earlier-than-usual holiday shopping with major online events like Amazon’s Prime Day, consumers using their mobile devices to purchase yet making less-expensive purchases on mobile, and to the uncertain political environment,” says NetElixir CEO and founder Udayan Bose.
Amazon Prime Day, held July 12 this year, is a 24-hour sales event that started in 2015. It features discounts of at least 20% and more than 100,000 deals for customers who belong to Prime, Amazon’s loyalty program that includes expedited shipping on millions of eligible products, as well as streaming video and music, for a $99 annual fee.
NetElixir also analyzed search marketing metrics based on data from Google AdWords, Bing and Yahoo Gemini platforms over the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, impressions on ads were up 35.7% and conversion rates increased 18.6%, the company says. The average cost-per-click was up 1.6%.
The most popular time to buy was between noon and 8 p.m., when more than 35% of orders were placed, NetElixir says. About 32% of orders placed were between 8 p.m. and midnight, 21% during 6 a.m. and noon and about 13% between 12:01 and 6 a.m.
The peak time for impressions and clicks on ads were also between noon and 8 p.m., the data shows.Based on these metrics, Bose says it may be beneficial for retailers to plan holiday digital marketing campaigns later in the day. “Campaigns should be focused on the afternoon hours when consumers are showing the most engagement and intent to purchase,” Bose says.
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