Santa’s E-Commerce Play
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!
And apparently, it was.
I didn’t try to track Santa via Santa Norad, but apparently Santa didn’t need nearly the help he might have.
According to some more IBM Benchmark e-commerce tracking numbers from the holiday shopping season, lots of folks were ready for more virtual commerce even on Christmas Day.
I count myself among the guilty.
The IBM data discovered that online shopping jumped 16.4 percent on Christmas Day, compared to last year, and the dollar amount of those purchases that were made using mobile devices leaped 172.9 percent.
IBM tracks shopping at more than 500 websites (other than Amazon.com, which is where *I* was shopping!).
It also found a huge increase in the number of shoppers making their purchases via iPhones, iPads and Android-powered mobile devices. In fact, nearly 7 percent of all online purchases were made using iPads, just 18 months after the tablet computers were released by Apple Inc..
The online shopping increase continued on Monday. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time, shopping was up 10 percent over Dec. 26, 2010, and the expectation was that the pace of buying would increase as the day wore on and consumers clicked on sales at various retailers.
The data did not show what portion of purchases was made using gift cards, which typically see a big bump just after holidays as folks start cashing those gift cards in and make purchases (online and off).
Speaking of online gifts, IBM has been making some pretty heavy duty investments in Santa’s e-commerce play, what we’re calling “smarter commerce.” Between the numerous acquisitions and continued organic investment, IBM’s smarter commerce effort recognizes that the final sale is just one aspect of the overall commerce experience.
Last year, IBM researchers surveyed more than 500 economists worldwide and estimated that our planet’s system of systems carries inefficiencies totaling nearly $15 trillion, or 28 percent of worldwide GDP.
Much of this waste is found in our systems of commerce — in inventory backlogs, failed product launches, wasted materials and ineffective marketing campaigns.
Today’s customers have no patience for this kind of waste. They will not remain loyal to products or brands while the cost of inefficiency is passed along to the buyer. And it will not take them long to find the same product or service from a competitor.
These customers are empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information. They expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital and mobile means.
They want a consistent experience across all channels. They compare notes. And they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse.
Nowhere is this shift more visible than in the retail industry, where companies are rapidly adapting to this new reality, integrating their marketing efforts and using analytics to better understand their new, more fickle customers.
But retail is only the beginning. It is merely the front line of a customer revolution that will eventually reshape the entire value chain, from the way raw materials are sourced to the way they are manufactured, distributed and serviced.
Keeping up with today’s customer will take more than an email marketing campaign and a Facebook page.
It’s going to take a better system of doing business. It’s going to take smarter commerce.
Just as with traditional commerce, the customer is at the center of all operations, and smarter commerce turns customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help companies buy, market, sell and service their products and services and, in the process, make for happier customers.
Smarter commerce reaches deep within the businessto-business supply chain, integrating business partners, suppliers, and vendors, enabling the entire value chain to anticipate customer needs, not react to them.
And it identifies and addresses the unsustainable inefficiencies of our global systems of commerce.
Visit here if you’d like to learn more about IBM’s smarter commerce strategy.
In the meantime, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Santa’s post Christmas holiday sales!