Mobile e-commerce Traffic Grew Threefold This Holiday Season

We recently held a well-received webinar for our customers entitled eCommerce and SEO: Holiday 2010 Review and the Top 5 SEO Strategies for Your E-Commerce Site.  Presented together with my colleague and resident SEO Specialist, Brian McDowell, the talk reviewed the 2010 online holiday season including an analysis of traffic trends for successful e-tailers, and closed with top SEO strategies for e-commerce retailers.

In analyzing more than 18 million visits from numerous high-traffic e-commerce websites for the webinar an interesting data point emerged: visits from mobile devices grew by more than 300% year over year.

Chart showing YoY mobile visits during the holiday season

While it is not surprising that mobile traffic grew significantly given consumer smartphone uptake, some may be taken aback by a 3x YOY increase in mobile device visits.  To us, this chart is an indicator that one year in mobile is like seven dog years in other industries and as online marketers we should be paying close attention to the shifting landscape.

Digging into a distribution of traffic by device type, we find 67% of visits coming from Apple iOS devices.  Although it was launched in Q2 of 2010, the iPad is already the second most trafficked mobile device (which partially accounts for the YOY growth), with Android devices a close third.  Windows devices have not yet gained much traction, making it a third mobile platform e-tailers need not spend much time optimizing for.  This will be a trend to keep any eye on going forward with Nokia’s recent announcement that they will abandon their own operating system for Windows Mobile.

Chart showing mobile traffic distribution by device YoY

Lay Out the Welcome Mat for Mobile Visitors
So what’s it all mean for e-tailers? For many, an app-based approach is certainly part of the mobile strategy, but a 3x growth in mobile visitors means an eye towards creating a positive mobile web experience should also be taken.  And, with visitors will come conversions, so e-tailers should ensure they have an end-to-end mobile shopping experience in place.

Brian has more to say on how to optimize for mobile in the webinar so be sure to check it out for more.

How do your holiday mobile traffic trends line up with the data above?

-Nathan Safran
Senior Research Analyst

One Response to Mobile e-commerce Traffic Grew Threefold This Holiday Season

  1. Michael Perkins says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I’m a little confused. Google states iPhones have been the dominate sources of traffic though Androids have been increasing month over month approximately 22%. Recently, (a couple months ago) it was stated Androids have passed traffic levels from iPhones. Your report suggest that iPhones represent over twice as much traffic. How did you acquire the information you’re showing, What possible differences am I looking at that could suggest the opposite?