This holiday season shopping has gone mobile in a big way

The 2011 holiday season that was kicked off earlier today (Black Friday) is proving to be a big boost for m-commerce as shoppers are using their smartphones, mobile apps and other devices to go bargain hunting according to various sources. Call it the season on couch commerce.

According to IBM’s (s IBM) Smarter Commerce division, the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site is 17.37 percent with almost 9.73 percent of consumers using mobile device to make a purchase. IBM points out that iPhone leads all mobile device traffic – no surprise – at 6.77 percent, followed by Android phones at 5.37 percent and iPad at 4.67 percent.

Akamai’s (s AKAM)data traffic trends show that while traffic on mobile websites of retailers is up nearly four times compared to last year. The increases reported by IBM and Akamai are backed by a PayPal, which says that it saw a 538 percent increase in global payment volumes compared to Black Friday 2010. In addition, PayPal saw a year-over-year 350 percent increase in the number of customers shopping through PayPal mobile.

GSI Commerce, a division of eBay (s EBAY) that hosts commerce-related websites for several large retailers says that it saw a 345 percent increase in US mobile sales compared to last year’s Black Friday. Channel Advisor which tracks the eCommerce related businesses found that:

 “Through the year, we saw traffic from mobile devices in the 6-7% range and on Thanksgiving it spiked up to 10%.  What’s really interesting is that Tablets (mostly the iPad) were the majority of that at 7.8% (with Smartphones at 1.2%).  It will be interesting to see if that trend inverts on BlackFriday as shoppers move from ‘Tablet couch commerce’ to shopping with their phones while they are out fighting the crowds.”

All this should not come as a surprise to anyone. Even last year it was pretty obvious that mobile was going to have a major impact on how people shopped during the holiday. We have been talking about that for a while and agreed with Google’s predictions for the mobile commerce this holiday season.

Traffic to retail websites on November 25. Source: Akamai