Mobile's share of online sales and mobile traffic have increased tenfold in the past years all over the world and it's going to continue moving up.
2016 has been the year in which mobile has made more headlines than ever, with everyone predicting the shifting from desktop supremacy to mobile.
Let's see what happened in the past year and why 2017 looks bright for those retailers that have prepared in advance for the shift and are now riding the wave.
Mobile traffic historic performance
This October for the first time mobile traffic usage has exceeded the desktop traffic usage.
On top of this Google has announced this year that is going to favor mobile friendly websites on mobile devices searches. This is a strong wake-up call for all the small businesses and retailers that haven't made the efforts to adjust to the mobile trend yet.
What to do: Start here and use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to see how you score and to get some guidance on improving the mobile friendliness of your website.
Mobile shopping is taking over the world
This Black Friday was the first time when the online sales from mobile devices have exceeded 1 billion dollars. Out of the 3.34B in online sales on Black Friday the desktops have been responsible for 64% of the total sales and the mobile share of total sales was 36%.
The smartphones have dominated the mobile transaction share with 25%, while tablets accounted for the remaining 11% share of mobile transactions.
On top of that, the mobile share of retail eCommerce transactions has crossed the 50% mark in Japan and the UK, with South Korea following closely.
What to do: Keep an eye on the mobile trends and identify the low hanging fruits.
Customer journey is omni-channel
Although in most countries mobile shopping is still in the 20-30% mark, retailers should be well aware of the buyer's shopping journey. According to Internet Retailer latest insights, mobile devices account for 70% of the time spent on a website and only 30% of the eCommerce sales.
The reason why there is a discrepancy between the time spent browsing on mobile and the mobile transactions is most of the times because of the poor mobile shopping experience.
Often making a purchase on the mobile takes too much time, therefore after the mobile research phase has been concluded buyers will head to their desktops or to the physical store to complete the purchase.
This has lead to a rise in comparison shopping with customers having multiple interactions before making the ultimate purchase decision.
"Near me" searches have boubled in 2016
According to Google's Insights ''In fact, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day.''
It's no surprise since most shoppers prefer to actually touch the product and value the physical store shopping experience over the online shopping one.
And ''foot traffic in retail stores has declined by 57% in the past five years, but the value of every visit has nearly tripled.'' thanks to mobile driving in-store shopping.
All because the smartphones have taken the role of a shopping advisor, and buyers use them now to research products, get shopping ideas and search for local store information.
What to do: Increase local store visits by driving online shoppers to your brick and mortar locations with Local Inventory Ads.
According to Criteo's State of Mobile Commerce, the difference in conversion rate between the established retail leaders and the emerging ones on mobile browsers and mobile apps is impressive: 39% conversion rate versus 90% conversion rate.
This is excellent news for the retail leaders that have the resources to deliver excellent app experience and that have succeeded in attracting and retaining users.
The emerging retailers have a lot of miles to cover in order to thrive at attracting and delighting users to increase the mobile app conversions.
2016 has been the mobile tipping point. It is clear that the landscape of retail is going to be dominated by smartphones and in 2017 more retailers are going to increase their capacities to providing mobile-friendly experiences to shoppers.