Consumers Shopping on Traditional Computers Hit All-Time Low… or Did It?

By Sarah Etter

December 4, 2012

With the flurry of stories and blog posts about how shoppers used different devices to shop during this year’s Cyber Season, it’s not easy to make heads or tails about the ecommerce trends emerging.

In helping leading ecommerce businesses to drive $930 million in ecommerce transactions throughout the long holiday weekend (starting on Thanksgiving and ending after Cyber Monday), we uncovered a few interesting patterns in consumer shopping behavior.

One that surprised us: Although the shift to tablets and smartphones for online shopping continues to grow rapidly, desktops and laptops regained some ground on Cyber Monday. This year, website traffic from desktops and laptops peaked at 89.4% on Cyber Monday. To put that number in context, traffic from these traditional devices dipped to 78.0% just two days earlier.

In fact, 78.0% is the lowest market share we’ve ever seen for desktop and laptop computers since launching the Ecommerce Quarterly in early 2012. Further, in our Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ3 2012) research, we found traffic from traditional desktop and laptop computers came in at 81.60% during the third quarter.

Conversely, smartphone and tablet traffic peaked at 22.0% during the same five-day span.

So what do these trends mean for ecommerce businesses?

We think it’s a sign that throughout the holiday shopping period, there are shifting patterns as consumers move from desktop to mobile to tablet. It also underscores the need for ecommerce companies to optimize their website across all devices and platforms to maximize the customer experience and conversions.

But what do you think is going on? Do these ecommerce traffic patterns match what you’re seeing with your business?

Cyber Monday Dark Background image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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