Thanksgiving shopping explodes on eBay and PayPal

Steven Loeb · November 24, 2012 · Short URL:

Mobile payments go up nearly twofold from 2011

We already knew that customers gave e-commerce a big boost this Thanksgiving, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that the largest e-commerce site also saw a giant benefit, as did the companies that it owns.

Both eBay and PayPal saw explosions in the number of mobile payments this year. For eBay, there was a 133% increase in mobile transactions on Thanksgiving compared to 2011. That number was even higher for PayPal, which saw transactions for go up a whopping 173% in the U.S.

GSI Commerce, an eBay company that specializes in creating, developing and running online shopping sites for brick and mortar brands and retailers, also saw a large increase, going up 170% in mobile sales globally.

Interestingly, the most popular time to shop on Thanksgiving was noon to 1 P.M. Pacific Time, indicating that a lot of shopping was done before most people sat down to eat (unless a lot of people were having turkey for breakfast.)

PayPal also reports that there was also a 164% increase in the number of global customers shopping through PayPal mobile on Thanksgiving 2012 compared to last year. The five biggest cities for mobile purchases were Houson, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and New York. 

If you want to know what people were buying, eBay says that Electronics, home and garden and health and beauty products were in strong demand this year.

E-commerce spending on Thanksgiving was up 17.8% compared to last year, and, as my fellow VatorNews writer Faith Merino pointed out yesterday, mobile was a large part of that.

Of the total Web traffic to retailers’ sites, nearly one-third, or 28.5%, came from mobile devices.  By comparison, mobile only accounted for 16.2% of traffic on Thanksgiving last year. Consumers who shopped from mobile devices accounted for 15.4% of all online purchases.

When it came to where people were doing their mobile shopping from, the most popular device was the iPhone, with 10.5%, followed closely by the iPad, with 10.1%. Android devices accounted for 7.7% of mobile shopping.

Mobile users checked out an average of seven Web pages, and mobile and e-commerce shoppers alike purchased an average of 3.67 items.

Dpesite an influx of deals on social media, it didn’t really make much of an impact. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest only drove 0.2% of online sales.

ComScore estimates that online holiday shopping from November to December will see a 17% increase this year for a total of $43.4 billion spent altogether. That’s compared to $37.2 billion spent online between November and December last year.

Of course, shopping did not end on Thursday and PayPal already reported that as of 11 a.m. Friday, global payments were 190% from Black Friday in 2011.

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes