NEW YORK — Mobile business is expected to boom this holiday season. Mobile traffic to company web sites is expected to reach 56.9 percent of total traffic during the five-day start to what is typically the busiest shopping period of the year, according to IBM Watson trend. That is up from 48.5 percent last year.
While many of those that “window shop” on their phones don’t buy, mobile sales are expected to jump to 36.1 percent of online sales. That is up 9 percent from last year.
Overall, sales are expected to increase 3.7 percent from last year, according to The National Retail Federation. Online sales are expected to be stronger with an 11 percent increase to $95 billion. Mobile phones and tablets are accounting for a bigger piece of that pie.
Mobile sales are expected to account for 35 percent of e-commerce this year and 49 percent in five years.
Some retailers are expecting even larger percentages of their traffic to come from mobile devices. Walmart expects 75 percent of its U.S. web traffic during the holidays to come from mobile devices.
Shopping by mobile phone still has its problems, including security concerns, sluggish apps and hard-to-navigate mobile web sites. Much of mobile traffic doesn’t translate into sales.
Still, increasing numbers of shoppers are finding the convenience hard to beat.