The success of smartphones - whether Apple or Android - and tablets is stimulating growth in mobile online shopping. This trend should encourage brands to come up with offers tailored to these devices.

US Internet users are increasingly making their purchases via mobile devices. An IBM Research study carried out among 500 leading US retailers’ websites indicates that 15% of all consumers who will go into an online retail site during November this year will do so from a mobile device. Looking back to last year, this figure was only 4.2% in October. And the latest figures show Android-based devices at the heart of the trend: for the first time, the number of purchases via the Android platform are more or less equal to those made via iOS phones.

Tools that encourage the online boom

Another tool acclaimed by consumers is the touchscreen tablet - more precisely the iPad, which shows the highest sales conversion rate of all mobile tools. More than 7% of users going on to a retail website via this type of device end up buying a product from the site. The success of these tools is having an impact on total online sales, which are set to rise 15% on last year. John Squire, Director for Product Management at IBM Industry Solutions, thinks that "this November (Thanksgiving) holiday season will mark the true advent of the post-PC era, with consumers demonstrating a heightened interest in adding mobile devices to their holiday shopping arsenal".

A personalised shopping experience suited to mobile devices

He adds: "In response, savvy retailers must invest in delivering hyper-personalised, smarter commerce shopping experiences using these new mobile tools." Basically, what the retailers must try to do is to build real customer loyalty to the site and/or the brand. This will certainly call for more relevant, personalised promotions, plus loyalty rewards.