Mobile Engagement

Smartphones have overtaken desktops for online shopping traffic in the first quarter of 2016, according to new figures. 45.1 per cent of traffic was recorded to have come from smartphones – marginally higher than the 45 per cent from desktops, according to research conducted in the US by Demandware, an e-commerce software provider.

The findings also predict that the share of smartphone traffic will increase to 60 per cent by the end of next year.

Revenue from mobile shopping online has tripled in America in the last three years, going from $7.6 billion (£5.8 billion) in the second quarter of 2013 to $21 billion (£16 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2015.

This comes as sales from shoppers on mobile devices have doubled between 2013 and 2015, according to a study by ComScore, a research firm.

Though there is increased traffic on mobiles, completed check-outs are 11 per cent less frequent on the devices compared to other channels. This highlights an issue retailers face which is that purchasing on mobiles through their digital platforms is currently too slow or difficult, and so requires investment.

Companies are likely to need to make this investment in the near future if they wish to stay relevant, as EMarketer predicted 71 per cent of US consumers would be shopping using their smartphones by 2019, compared to the 59 per cent today.

By the fourth quarter of 2018, e-commerce on mobiles will have overtaken desktops by 13 per cent, Demandware predicts.

The design of mobile devices is reflecting this shift, with larger screens and improved web browsers making this easier for consumers to shop on their smartphones, according to Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights for Demandware.

Kenney, who is the author of the study, said: “If they can get it right on mobile today and tomorrow, that’s where they’re going to see a lot of value going forward.”

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