updated 09:24 pm EST, Fri November 29, 2013
Real-world usage again shows iOS far ahead of Android, other rivals
Yet another real-world usage statistic has surfaced showing that users with iOS devices are far more engaged with them than those of any other platform. Among Black Friday buyers who used mobile devices to shop online, 82 percent were on the iOS platform doing so, with the remaining 18 percent using Android. Using mobile devices to shop on Black Friday was up 9.8 percent overall from last year, with mobile devices accounting for 38 percent of all Black Friday shopping traffic and 21 percent of online sales.
According to updated buying statistics compiled by IBM, the majority of online sales on Friday were still done on desktop or notebook computers (62 percent), but that figure has been steadily declining each year. Interestingly, among mobile devices it would seem that tablets are used for the more "serious" shopping, while smartphone users appear to be more inclined to just browse or research potential purchases -- smartphones had twice as much shopping traffic as tablets (24.8 percent versus 12.8 percent), but tablets were responsible for nearly 50 percent more sales -- 13.5 percent of total online purchases, compared to 7.5 percent from smartphones.
On top of being more active in online shopping, iOS users also spent more on average than Android users: $128.80 per order versus $107.75, a 20 percent difference. This particular statistic is easily explained, since iOS devices are priced and marketed for premium consumers as compared to the more diverse range of options for Android customers, most of which are aimed at budget buyers -- with only a relative handful of devices designed to compete with their iOS counterparts.
As a side note, buyers referred to items from Pinterest tended to spend $20 more per order on average than those coming to sites from Facebook, but Facebook referrals were three times the number of Pinterest referrals -- a statistic that speaks to the relative popularity of the two social networks. Looking at tablet buyers versus smartphone buyers overall, users of tablets typically spent $134.48 per order on average, compared to $116.37 for smartphone users.
That iOS devices were used in mobile shopping activities at a rate more than four times that of Android devices -- which supposedly have a larger US marketshare -- pokes another hole in the theory that Apple's US influence is waning due to increased competition. While it is probably (but unverified) that more Android devices are sold in total than iOS devices, it would seem that only a relatively small percentage are designed to truly compete with and attract the same type of users as Apple's customers -- a point made repeatedly in other usage and engagement reports as well as developer case studies.
Microsoft's Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other smaller mobile platforms made up less than one percent of mobile shopping activity and thus weren't counted in the rounder percentages. All the reporting comes from IBM's cloud-based Digital Analytics Benchmark, which handles real-time transaction analyzing of millions of purchases made on Friday from approximately 800 retail websites across the US.