Smartphones before Skirts
Last Monday, November 29th, was Cyber Monday, and that particular Monday – the one immediately following Thanksgiving - has apparently been Cyber for the past five years, ever since shop.org put out a press release noting the surge in online retail activity that occurs on this particular date (I was until relatively recently – ie this week – unaware of the cybernature of this date, in large part due to the fact that, being a Brit, Thanksgiving is for me predominantly a time when it’s not a good idea to ring someone in a US office if you want a reply.) But enough of recent history (and my general ignorance of American cultural behaviour): this has been a preamble to eBay’s announcement that m-commerce sales on this date rose by 146% year on year. Sadly, eBay doesn’t tell us the actual scale of the digital greenbacks involved here, but since in the same press release it reiterated that the value of sales via its mobile channels across the year is expected to rise from $600 million in 2009 to more than $1.5 billion this year, it is presumably safe to say that a fair few Yuletide gifts were purchased. Interestingly, eBay does tell us which items generated the most sales (both in terms of dollar value and transaction volumes) over the Thanksgiving holiday week, and while for the former “cars and trucks” won out amongst US consumers, the latter category was headed by “cell phones and PDA accessories”, which beat “women’s clothing” into second place. Indeed, in California, the phones triumphed in both categories, rather suggesting that smartphones will be dropping into a lot of West coast stockings this Christmas. Overall, then, a week which is auspicious both for mobile commerce and for smartphones. And one further point: all those smartphone sales means that there will soon be even more smartphones in the grasp of US consumers. Who can then use them to go on eBay. And buy even more smartphones. Repeat, ad infinitum.