DETROIT (WWJ) – The U.S. online retail sector delivered 7.5 percent growth in December 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to cloud-based analytics findings by IBM.
IBM’s findings follow a strong November where both Black Friday 2011 and Cyber Monday 2011 delivered double-digit growth over 2010.
The analytics show that 14.6 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, more than double the rate of 5.6 percent over this same period in 2010. Sales from mobile devices doubled, reaching 11 percent versus 5.5 percent in December 2010.
Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (5.2 percent and 4.3 percent respectively). Android was third at 4.1 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 9.5 percent over the course of the month.
Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.3 percent compared to 3.1 percent for all mobile devices.
Department stores continued to offer an array of compelling deals and promotions that caught the attention of consumers. As a result, department stores online sales were up 18 percent over December 2010.
Home goods also reported a 15.6 percent increase in sales over December with consumers continuing to shift their attention toward the home. Apparel sales were strong last month realizing an increase of 16.3 percent over 2010. Health and Beauty consumers continued to show a desire to pamper themselves over the holiday with December sales increasing by 16 percent year over year.