Apple Wins This Holiday

By Lori Castle, Editor-in-Chief — December 02, 2013

By all accounts it was a mobile holiday, ruled by Apple, both in device sales and how users shopped. Walmart alone sold 1.4 million tablets and more than one-quarter of all Black Friday sales were conducted via these devices and smartphones.

Who Bought What
Though Walmart did not breakdown tablet sales by manufacturer, it did call out the iPad mini as a top seller. Analytics company InfoScout reported that Apple devices accounted for 22% of Black Friday sales at Target —iPads for 18%, which is 10 times all Android tablets combined. The new Air was on the top of the list at this retailer. Furthermore, InfoScout discovered that 40% of total Black Friday iPad purchases came from Android smartphone users.

This was enough for the Street and several analysts raised their targets on Apple stock. On the last earnings call, CEO Tim Cook predicted an Apple Christmas and took this holiday opportunity to extend gratitude in this  Nov. 28 Tweet:  ‏@tim_cook Grateful this #Thanksgiving for amazing customers and the privilege to work with fantastic people. Happy Thanksgiving!

According to Apple Insider, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster surveyed user trends on Twitter and found that “Apple was mentioned in conjunction with Black Friday 0.92 percent of the time, while it was mentioned for Cyber Monday 0.23 percent of the time. In comparison, Samsung was mentioned 0.2 percent for Black Friday and 0.29 percent for Cyber Monday, while the Android platform garnered 0.11 percent and 0.19 percent, respectively.”

Who Bought On What
Overall online sales this year rose by about 22% according to IBM, which also reported that the biggest surge came from mobile, reaching more than one-quarter of the total online sales for Thanksgiving, and just shy of that (22%) for Black Friday. This was an overall mobile increase of nearly 43% year-over-year. Mobile traffic grew to 40% of all online traffic, an increase of 34% over Black Friday 2012.        

Perhaps the dinner conversation got boring and people started browsing on their smartphones, but IBM noted that most sales took place on tablets.  Smartphones drove 25%  of all online traffic on Black Friday compared to tablets at 14%, but tablets drove 14% percent of all online sales, double that of smartphones.

On average, iOS users spent $127.92 per order on Black Friday compared to $105.20 per order for Android users. iOS traffic reached 28% of all online traffic, compared to 11% for Android. iOS sales reached 18% of all online sales, compared to 4% for Android. 

Mobile Monday
According to the National Retail Federation, when asked how they plan to shop on Cyber Monday, 24.8 million (19%) said they will use their mobile device, a 22% increase from the last year and a drastic change from only 3.7 million in 2009.

In a “Cyber Monday” midday report, IBM noted mobile traffic, sales and some drastic changes as well.  Mobile traffic accounted for more than 31% of all online traffic, up 58% compared to the same period last year.  Mobile sales were at 18% of all online sales at the time of report.

The trend of smartphones vs. tablets continued, with the former driving 21% of all online traffic compared to tablets at 10%, but tablets drove 11%  of all online sales, almost twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 7%.
As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than four times higher than Android, driving 14% percent vs. 3% for Android. On average, iOS users spent $125.91 per order compared to $121.34 for Android users. 

Cyber Security
Enterprises should take note of the increase in mobile commerce as employees utilizing their own devices connected to the corporate network or cloud will shop, and could potentially constitute a threat.  In fact, an Oct. 2013 report from Symantec showed that 38% of smartphone users experienced a mobile cybercrime in the past year.

The company warned that scammers had planned to target both businesses and consumers on Cyber Monday. In the official Symantec blog, Laura O’Brien suggested that one way for businesses to stay safe, “Web administrators should ensure that any potential infrastructure vulnerabilities are plugged … in order to prevent attackers from taking advantage of these flaws. They should also monitor network traffic for any suspicious activity.”

In addition, to the standard (and beyond) enterprise security measures,  companies should also educate their employees on the types of scams they may encounter. User knowledge is often the first defense against corporate threats.

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