IBM Shows Off Analytics, Makes Holiday Predictions

Mobile commerce will boom this holiday season, email will work better, and IBM plans to prove it with real time online shopping trends data free to anybody.

IBM’s ExperienceOne Benchmark Live online shopping trend tool reveals real-time and historic information about U.S. online sales, website traffic, average order value, ecommerce conversion rates, bounce rate, and shopping cart abandonment. The tool will also monitor trends in real time for internet revenue Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

The ExperienceOne Benchmark Live was obviously made to market IBM’s ExperienceOne customer management solution; it’s important to understand that when one views the information. Nevertheless, the information provided is intriguing, especially since the tool”analyzes hundreds of terabytes of real time shopping across engaging U.S. sites” and outputs results based on 370 performance indicators.

IBM’s Benchmark Live tool monitors broad, U.S. retail ecommerce styles.

Benchmark Data

Since the Benchmark Live agency’s title suggests, this data is very likely to be most useful to ecommerce companies — especially small and mid-sized ecommerce companies — as a method of benchmarking against much bigger online vendors for the purpose of identifying trends in consumer behaviour.

For instance, the graph below was taken in the Benchmark Live site. It shows online sales daily for Nov. 9, 2014 to Nov. 15, 2014. Notice that on both the 9th and the 15th overall mobile purchases climbed to almost 30 percent of online sales. Indicating that shoppers are more likely to shop from a mobile device on the weekends.

This chart of online sales indicates that shoppers look more likely to use mobile devices on weekends.

This may lead some little and midsize online sellers to aim extra advertising and promotion in mobile users on Saturdays and Sundays, or, conversely, refocus on desktop users during business days.

Moreover, this information may indicate that at least some shoppers are making purchases throughout the workday, possibly from a computer. An internet seller could make shopping simpler in that environment, possibly.

This kind of trend data leads to only such questions, which then give ecommerce business owners and marketers a chance to discover ways to better serve clients and ultimately make more sales.

Data Driven Predictions

The Benchmark Live data comes from several internal resources, such as ExperienceOne and Silverpop, an email and client engagement solution that IBM acquired in May 2014.

In general, IBM is projecting a 15-percent growth in U.S. retail ecommerce sales during the five days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.

Enormous Mobile Growth

According to IBM,”mobile browsing is predicted to account for 48.2 percent of all online traffic within the five-day period [from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday], an increase of 23 percent over this past year. Mobile earnings are also expected to rise, accounting for 24.4 percent of all online sales, up 9.5 percent . Apple’s dominance in mobile shopping experiences is also expected to continue with iOS apparatus traffic projected to double that of Android apparatus, and earnings expected to quadruple.”

Mobile shopping may also become the “new Thanksgiving tradition,” again according to IBM, with approximately 53 percent of all Thanksgiving Day ecommerce purchases originating from a mobile device.

Tablets vs. Smartphones

While overall mobile commerce is on the rise, shoppers obviously utilize different types of mobile devices for different shopping-relating tasks.

IBM estimated that a 29 percent of U.S. online traffic would come from smartphones during the shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, while tablet users would account for around 15 percent of visitors during exactly the exact same period. “But, IBM predicts tablets will account for twice as many mobile purchases than smartphones, as a result of the bigger screen size.”

This isn’t a new fad, but it’s a substantial reinforcement of what many ecommerce marketers already know. This form of information should have consequences for how companies optimize sites.

Expect More Digital Coupons

Citing familiarity with electronic coupons and the entering electronic coupon codes, IBM predicted that consumers are more likely to use coupons and seek out coupons. If that is actually true, it may indicate that online retailers could benefit from distributing and publishing online coupons.

Digital coupons can be dispersed via coupon sites like RetailMeNot, through online display advertisements, as movie pre-roll on YouTube, or as an audio advertising on Pandora.

Email Will Be More Successful

Online affiliate marketers, particular at comparatively large businesses, have become very proficient at distributing email lists and delivering considerably more relevant messages. This, then, means email click-through rates must be up about 10-percent versus last year, according to IBM.

Little and midsize online merchant marketers could use this forecast to inspire more cautious list segmentation. The aim isn’t to send the same message to everybody on your email list, but instead to send messages which are meaningful and relevant to the receiver. These more purposeful email messages will tend to enjoy better click-through prices and, finally, more conversions.