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Merry Mobile Christmas: MCommerce Takes Off
CNBC.com | November 23, 2011 | 08:27 AM EST

As shoppers hunt down bargains and gift ideas for the holidays, it will be hard for some to remember a time when they couldn’t pull out their smartphone and hunt down a store location, compare a product’s price, or scan customer reviews.

It’s only been a short while since smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad arrived on the scene in a meaningful way, but already these devices are having a profound effect on how shoppers behave and how retailers communicate with them.

Mobile shopping only makes up a tiny fraction of retail sales, but it is accelerating at a brisk pace. Last year, about 3.8 percent of all ecommerce sales were made on mobile devices, according to John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM Coremetrics.

At the moment, mobile has grown to a 9 percent share of all online sales, but that number could rise to about 15 percent to 16 percent of all ecommerce sales over the holiday season, Squire said. The growth is even more impressive when you think that online sales are also accelerating.

It’s All About Value

According to a Deloitte study, almost half of all consumers say they will shop for holiday gifts online – a double-digit increase from last year. This makes the Internet the No. 1 shopping destination, now tied with discount stores, for the first time since Deloitte added the channel to the annual study.

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