Smartphones, tablets spark "post-pie" Thanksgiving sales

Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:37pm EST
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By Alistair Barr

(Reuters) - Retailers are targeting "post-pie" commerce, the jump in shopping created by the boom in smartphones and tablet computers which Thanksgiving diners grab as they collapse onto the couch after eating turkey and pumpkin pie.

While people relax with family and friends or watch football on TV, they are increasingly shopping online with these mobile gadgets, creating a surge in traffic and purchases that retailers are beginning to target for the first time this year.

"This is a new shoppable moment," said Steve Yankovich, who heads the mobile business of eBay Inc, operator of the largest online marketplace.

Before the rise of smartphones and tablets, it was socially unacceptable to pull out a laptop after Thanksgiving dinner, or head to a home office to fire up a desktop computer, Yankovich explained.

"With a tablet or smartphone you don't get that reaction," he added.

EBay recently surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers in the United States about their holiday shopping plans. Almost two thirds said holiday sales should begin after Thanksgiving dinner and respondents said their meals would end, on average, at 5:23 p.m. EST.

Based on that feedback, eBay plans to launch 20 mobile-only deals through its eBay Mobile application at 5:23 p.m. EST this Thanksgiving. The company plans 20 more at 5:23 p.m. PST for West Coast shoppers.

Other retailers including Toys "R" Us, HSN Inc, Rue La La and ideeli are also targeting mobile shoppers this Thanksgiving in the evening.   Continued...

A visitor looks over the new iPad mini at an Apple event in San Jose, California October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith