IBM reports that iPad and mobile devices will drive 15% of retail web traffic this holiday season.

Cloud analytics-based findings by IBM indicate this holiday season will see a 12-15% increase in online shopping over this time last year, with mobile devices, such as iPads and Android smartphones, helping drive the traffic. The findings are based on data from the IBM Coremetrics Benchmark analysis, which gathers information from more than 500 US retailer web sites.

Merry Mobile Shopping

IBM also reports that record numbers of consumers will shift their holiday shopping from their PCs to mobile devices. Nearly 11% of people used mobile devices to log onto retailer's sites last month, which is up 4.2% over the same time last year. Mobile sales overall show a 6.2% increase in October 2011 compared to October 2010.

Also in the report, at 3.5%, Android users will have similar levels of mobile shopping as iPhone users, at 4.0%. The iPad shoppers will lead the mobile pack, based on October 2011 figures. iPad conversion rates reached 6.8%, compared to 3.6% mobile device conversion rates.

Social Shopping

As we noted last week, social media drives buying, and IBM says that, according to October conversion rates, 9.2% of consumers who visited a retail site from a social media site completed a purchase, compared to 5.5% of all direct online shopping last year. Most social shopping will come from Facebook, which accounted for 77% of traffic from social networks last month. These numbers are similar to figures from this time last year.

IBM Coremetrics chief strategy officer, John Squire, recommends that retailers respond to this report by investing in hyper-personalized, smarter commerce shopping experiences, including relevant promotions and free shipping, that will build loyalty through multiple channels.

Checkout Lane

Shoppers who do make it into retail shops this holiday season might also run into new IBM retail technology. Today IBM announced the release of the Smarter Checkout solution, which allows retailers to target third-party products and services, such as movie theater tickets, to customers at the checkout lane.

"According to a recent study of global retailers, 85% of consumers prefer to complete their transactions through a traditional point-of-sale station, whether they take goods home or have items delivered," the announcement says. "The checkout aisle is the retailer's last chance to save a sale, generate extra revenue and make a lasting impression on shoppers."

This holiday shopping season, the savviest retailers will be taking advantage of the predicted increase in holiday spending and customizing your shopping experience, any way you prefer to shop.