IBM's study also found that 10.7% of visitors to retailing sites used a mobile device last month, up from last year's reading of 4.2%. Mobile sales more than doubled over the same period, from 3.4% of sales to 9.6%. IBM also discovered that users of social sites are not necessarily open to mobile shopping. While 77% of all traffic to retailing sites from a social network came from Facebook, only 9.2% of those who clicked to a retail site from a social site made a purchase.
Of course, spending by shoppers on a mobile device wouldn't be so strong if the idea of on-line shopping wasn't so compelling for many. According to metrics firm comScore, Q3 on-line spending was $36.3 billion, up 13% year-over-year. In an very telling statistic, IBM found that Apple iPad owners had a conversion rate (the percentage of visits to a site that results in the desired action-in this case, an online purchase) of 6.8% in October, compared with 3.6% for mobile devices as a whole. That means that iPad owners are nearly twice as likely to make a purchase on an online retailing site than those using another mobile product. If tablet owners are a little more likely to open their wallet, what will happen when the Amazon Kindle Fire launches on November 15th? The tablet is not only less expensive than the competition at $199, but also is developed by one of the top online retailing firms.