James Dennin, Kapitall: This season most holiday shopping growth is expected to be mobile. Could apps give stocks a Cyber Monday boost?
Many analysts had been concerned about this year's holiday shopping season. For one, reports seemed skeptical that Americans feel any less frugal than last year. It also probably doesn't help that Thanksgiving fell later than usual, meaning that this year's holiday season will also be shorter than usual.
Read more on Retail from Kapitall: These 5 Retail Stocks Have Cash on Hand in Case of Weak Holiday Shopping
So this morning's numbers seem to be affirming those concerns. The amount of money spent by consumers over the holiday weekend fell 2.8% from last year, despite more people actually going into stores. That leaves two possible conclusions: either shoppers are spending less, or they're just gearing up to shop even more today when online retailers begin their big promotions.Whereas brick and mortar stores are bemoaning the numbers – a closer look at e-commerce tells a rather different tail. Online sales for the month are up from the same period as last year, over 3%. And most major online retailers began promotions over the weekend, which continue into Cyber Monday. Investing ideas The clear winners on Friday then were e-commerce companies and mobile apps. Mobile shopping accounted for almost 40% of total online traffic on Friday, an unprecedented jump from last year that beat all estimates. With that in mind, we decided to take a look at which publicly traded companies have done the best job of courting mobile customers. We were able to find this list on Forbes of companies that scored well on a mobile shopping rater called Applause. Applause's tools look at mobile reviews and user ratings across iPhone (AAPL), Windows Phone (MSFT), and Android (GOOG) to rate the best apps. The stocks that produce the eight highest scoring apps in the retail sector are listed below. Click on the interactive chart below to view analyst ratings over time. Will high-rated mobile apps give these retail stocks a boost for Cyber Monday? Use the list below to begin your analysis.