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iPad drives US online shopping surge

According to a press release by IBM, US online Thanksgiving weekend sales records again rose this year, and a big boost was seen in the proportion of people using mobile devices. Overall online sales were up by 17.4 per cent on Thanksgiving Day and 20.7 per cent on Black Friday. IBM noted that 16.3 per cent of sales were from mobile consumers, up from 9.8 per cent in 2011.

IBM also pointed to what it referred to as the 'iPad factor', with Apple's device generating more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, accounting on its own for nearly a tenth of online shopping. This was followed by the iPhone at 8.7 per cent and then all Android devices combined at 5.5 per cent. In terms of tablets alone, Apple was far more dominant, with the iPad clocking in at 88.3 per cent.

Referring to the recent trend of consumers shopping in stores and using devices simultaneously to source the best deals, Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce, said this year's big commerce winners were "chief marketing officers who used technology to deliver customer experiences that not only connected shoppers with personalised deals but did so at the right touchpoint and at precisely the right time and place, whether on their couch or the store floor". IBM added, though, that the influence of social sales waned this year, with referrals from networks generating just 0.34 per cent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 per cent from 2011.

IBM has offered a Black Friday InfoGraphic to provide more details about its findings.