Overall ecommerce sales for the back-to-school shopping season increased by 3% over 2016, according to a recent study by NetElixir, which also found a strong and continuous trend of consumers using their mobile devices for online shopping.
The report found that while desktop orders for back-to-school goods were down 3%, revenue increased by 2%. Mobile orders were up by 44% and revenue from mobile sales rose 4%. The average order value (AOV) for mobile increased 3%, indicating consumers are more comfortable using them for more expensive purchases.
By comparison, AOV on desktop orders increased from $127 to $132. Overall AOV for the season increased from $96 to $109 in 2017.
“Every year, the spend on mobile just keeps accelerating and we can confidently say that mobile sales percentage contribution will continue to increase,” said Udayan Bose, Founder and CEO of NetElixir. “The good news is that the gap between AOV on desktop and mobile is decreasing. Historically, this gap has been about 30% to 35%. With our back-to-school data, we see this gap coming down to under 15%, which means that the trend to spend less on mobile is waning.”
The study also found consumers are not relying on mobile devices for last-minute purchases as they had previously. In 2017, NetElixir found only one major spike in purchasing from July 31 through Aug. 2. The percentage of mobile sales was constant throughout the back-to-school season, the company found.
Looking ahead, NetElixir is forecasting a 10% increase in ecommerce sales growth, down from 11% growth in 2016. “Since we started the holiday forecasts in 2008, we have observed a strong direct correlation between back-to-school sales data and holiday results,” Bose said. “The year-over-year growth for the back-to-school season this year is very telling for what retailers can expect for the holidays.”