Mobile phones driving growth in online shopping

2015 was “the year of mobile shopping” according to a new report which confirms that consumers are increasingly reaching for their phones to buy goods and services.

The 2015 Demandware Shopping Index is based on an analysis of the shopping activity of more than 400 million consumers around the world. It shows that mobile phones accounted for all the growth in visits and baskets, as well as the majority share of order growth.

This, in turn, translates into a net loss in visits and baskets on tablets and computers. Tablets saw a 19% decline in traffic and and a 10% fall in order share last year. Meanwhile, traffic share on smartphones rose 30% to 43% and order share was up 50% to 23%.

“In 2015, the shopper went mobile,” said Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Demandware. “This is driving the mobile-first mandate for retailers. More and more shoppers are interacting with brands for the first time through their mobile devices. Particularly when targeting millennials, who overwhelmingly experience a brand for the first time on their phone, it is necessary to provide a simple and quick experience.”

As well as the increasing prominence of phones, Demandware found that users are spending less time on digital commerce sites. The company expects the rise of personalisation to perpetuate this trend as retail brands make it more efficient for shoppers to interact and purchase across channels.

Another trend identified in the study is increased cart creation. Virtual shopping baskets are now the currency of cross-channel engagement, Demandware said. This is a good sign for omnichannel retailers that rely on carts to bridge the gap from digital to store.

Lastly, Demandware highlighted some of the expectations of today’s online shopper. Its research shows that consumers expect free shipping and discounts, but increasingly prefer an experience that is customised and exclusive to them.

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