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Small-Screen Shopping Sales Soar


?Any way you want it/That’s the way you need it/Any way you want it?

Steve Perry and his former band Journey certainly weren’t talking about e-commerce when they wrote that song 35 years ago, but, according to MarketLive’s “Q2 2015 Performance Index” report, it’s applicable to the current mobile shopping trend.

The report—which measures the buying behavior of millions of consumers who had shopped online during the second quarter of 2015—shows that small-screen shopping experiences are finally engaging enough for mass-market consumers, who purchased 335% more via smartphones than they did in Q2 of last year.

The retail sectors that showed the strongest uptick in sales via the smartphone kick are: catalog (+374%), brick and mortar (+207%), and furnishings and housewares (+163%). This indicates, the report says, that traditional retailers are effectively leveraging the digital ecosystem.

The report theorizes one possible explanation for the spike could be that responsive websites and one-click payment options are ameliorating serious friction points in mobile commerce, such as making it easier for shoppers to see products, search prices, and purchase whenever and wherever they want.

“Consumers have shifted their buying patterns to mobile commerce faster than many retailers realize. We’re now seeing merchandise traditionally purchased in-store, such as home furnishings, are increasingly being purchased online from smartphones. And, shoppers are seeking out their favorite brick-and-mortar brands online and expecting their websites to work on any device,” said Ken Burke, founder and CEO at MarketLive, Inc. in a recent press release. “We’re calling this trend ‘Commerce Anywhere the Customer Wants It,’ and the more agile retailers and category leaders are outpacing their competitors by constantly adapting to—and embracing—a retail landscape where technology, consumers and markets are evolving at breakneck speed.”

Other findings include:

  • Brick-and-mortar revenues outpaced the overall retail index by 43% over eight consecutive quarters;
  • Revenues from shoppers on smartphones grew 374% in catalog; 207% in brick-and-mortar; and 163% in furnishings and housewares;
  • Traffic from paid search and organic search are declining (-11.7 and -1.5%, respectively), while traffic from email marketing is increasing (+18.1%);
  • Total revenues, total visits, and average order size continue to grow (+1.3, +18.1, +1.4%, respectively) even as conversion rate and cart abandonment remain challenging (-11.3 and +1.9%, respectively);
  • Key performance indicators for tablets continue to slip compared to smartphones; smartphones now command more than two times the share of online traffic (29.4 vs. 12.9% for tablets) and they squeezed past tablets for share of online revenue (13.1 vs. 12.9% for tablets).
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