Laptop shopping’s easier, but mobile’s growing faster

In this file photo, Tashalee Rodriguez, of Boston, uses her smartphone while shopping at Macy's in Boston. Mobiles sales made up 25 percent of all online sales on the three biggest e-commerce days of the holiday shopping season. (AP File Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

WASHINGTON — Online sales via mobile devices on the three big e-commerce days so far this holiday shopping season showed a significant jump over last year’s sales, despite what is still a frustrating e-shopping experience, Reston-based, internet tracking firm comScore Inc. reported.

ComScore’s data shows that total e-commerce sales on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit nearly $3.7 billion this year, up 20 percent from the total for those three days in 2015.

On Thanksgiving Day, desktop e-commerce sales were up 17 percent from a year ago, compared to 26 percent for mobile.

Mobile sales on Cyber Monday were up 29 percent from a year ago, and on Black Friday, mobile e-commerce sales were up a whopping 41 percent over last year — both handily topping gains for desktop sales on those same days.

“The key shopping days all experienced strong growth rates of buying using mobile devices, giving a boost to total digital sales, with mobile accounting for more than a quarter of online spending those days,” says comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni.

“While mobile continues to have more friction points and therefore lower conversion than desktop, it’s clear that many consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable transacting over these devices.”

“Friction” is an industry term meaning a frustrating experience for consumers trying to make an online purchase on a mobile device. And “lower conversion” means that consumers often give up and never make it to the check out on a smartphone or tablet.

As evidence that consumers still do plenty of online shopping at their desk or on their laptop, comScore reported that total desktop e-commerce sales topped $1 billion a day for 11 straight days beginning on Thanksgiving — a record streak for consecutive days with $1 billion in sales.

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