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Turkey Day is behind us, and the Black Friday numbers are in, showing that consumers really stepped up to the plate -- on both days -- to kick off the Christmas shopping season in style.
While retailers' early openings on Thanksgiving cannibalized the following day's results a bit, all in all, things are looking good. For online and mobile shopping, this was a breakthrough year, as 65% of Black Friday online sales were powered by mobile devices.
Online and mobile shopping skyrocket
Cyber shopping is picking up steam this holiday season, and mobile devices are leading the charge. IBM's (NYSE: IBM ) marketing department released numbers revealing that online sales surged more than 17% on Thanksgiving Day, much of that from mobile devices -- primarily Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iPad. That popular tablet drove almost 10% of online sales on the holiday, compared to 3.1% for Barnes & Noble's (NYSE: BKS ) Nook and -- ouch -- a mere 2.4% for Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN ) Kindle. For Friday, an astounding 88.3% of tablet shopping was accomplished using the iPad.
Another big winner in the mobile shopping sweep is eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY ) , whose mobile app recently celebrated 100 million downloads. This has translated into 100 million sale items being posted to eBay's marketplace, proving that consumers are actually using the app, as well. The company expects about 16% of its 2012 revenue to come in via mobile, double that of last year. With the strength of mobile already evident this early in the Christmas shopping season, eBay's estimate may actually be too low.
As for the company's Paypal unit, Thanksgiving was a feast, as 173% more consumers used Paypal to pay for mobile purchases versus the year-ago holiday. Black Friday saw even more action, delivering an increase of 193% over 2011. Interestingly, the most payment traffic came in between the noon hour and 1:00 p.m. on both days, and was concentrated in five major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and New York.
One Fool's take
A recent holiday online spending forecast by comScore predicted a 17% jump in purchases made online for the 2012 season, and it looks like things are off to a roaring start. For eBay, whose management expects Paypal Mobile and eBay Marketplace to each process $10 billion in mobile payments for this year, this shopping season looks like it might be the best ever.
As for Apple, the dominance of the iPad over all other tablets seems destined to continue -- and people obviously love shopping on these devices. Cupertino didn't really need another reason for consumers to love the iPad, but what the heck. I wonder how many shoppers will use their iPad to buy that very device to put under the tree?
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