Blog

IBM reports stark increase in holiday sales

December 27, 2013

Businesses capable of accepting online credit card payments likely saw very significant increases in their sales this holiday season, according to two recent reports.

 

Businesses capable of accepting online credit card payments likely saw very significant increases in their sales this holiday season, according to two recent reports.

Bloomberg reported, citing figures provided by MasterCard Advisors, that holiday sales made at retail outlets between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 were up by 2.3 percent. Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of MasterCard Advisors, said that consumers, though cautious in recent years, are starting to spend more regularly.

“You are seeing, ‘It’s OK for me to go out and spend,'” Quinlan told Bloomberg. “That being said, they are still being cautious, and they are picking their retailers. It is not hot 2006-2007 spending we are seeing.”

Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, also projected healthy sales for retail outlets across the holiday season. He told Bloomberg that he expects the number of holiday purchases made at retail point of sale terminals will be up by roughly two percent year-over-year between Nov. 1 and Dec. 22.

IBM recently reported, however, that online sales were up by a much more significant margin. For example, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark found that Christmas Day sales made online were up 16.5 percent year-over year. This fully illustrates the necessity of online credit card processing for small businesses: the sales growth rates recorded in brick-and-mortar store locations are a mere fraction of those being recorded for e-commerce retailers. 

Mobile devices played large role in online sales increase
Part of the reason online sales have been moving up, according to IBM, is heavy use of both smartphone and tablet devices, which are becoming much more common than in years past. Smartphones and tablets accounted for 48 percent of all online traffic on Christmas Day, according to the IBM report, which was up 28.3 percent when compared to 2012. Perhaps more importantly, sales made from retail companies to individuals using smartphones and tablets were up by 40 percent from 2012, accounting for almost 29 percent of all sales made online. 

Smartphones accounted for 9.3 percent of all sales made online, while tablets accounted for 19.4 percent, illustrating the need for retailers to ensure their e-commerce offerings are easily accessed by such devices. Tablet users spent an average of $95.61 on their orders with e-commerce companies, while smartphone users spent an average of $85.11. E-commerce websites are no longer just for desktop users – they also need to be optimized for access from both smartphones and tablet devices. 

Back To Blog