Online Purchases Shrink With Screen Size, New Data Show

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As e-commerce explodes, individual purchases tend to vary according to the device. Consumers still prefer the experience and perceived security of the desktop for larger ticket items.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and an increasing number of Americans are completing their shopping purchases online without ever having to set foot in a store.

In fact, the National Retail Federation revealed that more Americans shopped online during the Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend than shopped in stores. And, as e-commerce spending reached historic levels over the holiday weekend, more shoppers than ever made purchases on their mobile devices, according to data from retail personalization provider Monetate.

Still, the data show that online shoppers who use smaller screens (like their smartphones) to make purchases tend to spend less money than their online shopping counterparts who use larger screens (like desktop computers) to shop. Of all online shoppers, desktop computer users continue to spend the most money, averaging $141 on sites like Amazon. Purchases made by tablet users averaged $131, while purchases made on mobile devices averaged about $112.

“Though we did see dramatic increases this year in buying on mobile devices, consumers are still saving their larger purchases for desktops,” Lucinda Duncalfe, Monetate CEO, said in a statement. “We see consumers making smaller impulse purchases on mobile, but they still prefer the experience and perceived security of the desktop for larger ticket items.”

Americans’ online spending hit $1.1 billion on Thanksgiving, a 9 percent increase from last year, according to web analytics firm comScore. Shoppers spent even more money online on Black Friday, with online spending reaching $1.66 billion, a 10 percent increase over Black Friday 2014.

“Online sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2015 signaled a very strong start to the holiday buying season. This is encouraging, though not surprising, given commerce’s strong performance last year,” Ducalfe said. “As retailers continue to improve the online shopping experience and extend promotional deals well beyond a few individual shopping days, we expect e-commerce to become the channel of choice for holiday buyers.”

I steered clear of online and in-store shopping over the holidays. I also got busy on Cyber Monday and inadvertently missed all the shopping but was pleased to see many stores extended their Cyber Monday sales for a day or two.

Where do you do the bulk of your holiday shopping – online or in stores? Do you shop on your mobile device? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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