Socially engaged consumers are more likely to convert than most consumers shopping on the web, according to a report from IBM.

As part of its Coremetrics Benchmark, IBM reported that socially engaged consumers are more likely to make purchases than others who shop or research items on the web.

According to IBM, 9.2 percent of consumers who saw social media marketing campaigns made purchases, compared to the overall conversion rate for web purchases, which IBM pegged at 5.5 percent. Additionally, Facebook is the primary social traffic driver for businesses, as 77 percent of all ecommerce traffic generated from social comes from the channel leader.

Beyond social, mobile access to retail websites is expected to increase during the holidays and maintain the the growth moving forward. In the earliest stages of holiday shopping, 11 percent of consumers accessed a website on their smartphone or tablet to research or make a purchase. According to IBM, the figure represents growth of 4.2 percent from the same month last year. In terms of mobile operating systems, both Android and iOS users accessed mobile websites with great frequency.

“This November holiday season will mark the true advent of the post-PC era with consumers demonstrating a heightened interest in adding mobile devices to their holiday shopping arsenal,” John Squire, director of product management for IBM’s enterprise marketing management group, said. “In response, savvy retailers must invest in delivering hyper-personalized, smarter commerce shopping experiences that are capable of building loyalty through multiple channels with exceptionally relevant promotions, free shipping and more.”

As a whole, IBM expects mobile web access on retail websites to increase 15 percent in November 2011 compared to November 2010.

A mobile website is quickly becoming a competitive necessity for businesses of all kinds. Brafton recently reported that mobile website development has increased 210 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.