Consumers Embrace Shopping from Smartphones

Consumers have embraced online shopping from their smartphones, boosting their spending by 125% across all product categories, according to the results of MarketLive’s latest quarterly Performance Index report.

Brick-and-mortar retailers and furniture-and-housewares retailers in particular reported even higher triple-digit increases in purchases coming in via smartphones.

MarketLive is advising retailers that the time is now for them to integrate in-store inventory and on-floor sales help with their online commerce websites and promotions in order to capture these online sales.

“Consumers are walking into brick-and-mortar stores with better product information and pricing research than the sales clerks working there. They are literally standing there in the store with their phone in their hands, researching information,” said Ken Burke, founder and CEO of MarketLive Inc.

“The good news is they are in the store, ready to buy. And the smarter retailers have figured out how to capture these online sales by integrating mobile shopping with their in-store experiences, adapting their marketing programs to align with how shoppers browse on smartphones, and equipping their in-store sales clerks with the tools to find the inventory and complete the transaction,” Burke said.

MarketLive customer Sport Chalet has equipped sales clerks at nine, soon to be eleven, of their retail stores with iPads, which they use to help customers compare products, find the right colors and sizes, and complete online purchases on their own smartphones even as they stand in the aisles of the physical store.

“Our online revenues coming from both desktop and mobile increased significantly over the holiday period, despite a device shift in customer behavior which drove mobile visitors up sharply,” said Don Delzell, director of online at Sport Chalet. “We believe that customers begin their shopping journey on mobile devices, often in-store, and then use the device of their choice to complete the journey.”

Other highlights from MarketLive’s Performance Index report include:

  • Overall average order value for online purchases rose to $131.71, which is an increase of 1.5% YOY from Q4 of last quarter
  • Overall retailer website traffic increased 10.2% YOY in Q4 2014 vs. Q4 2013
  • Overall online revenue increased 9.1% YOY in Q4 2014 vs. Q4 2013
  • Revenues specifically from mobile devices increased a healthy 125% YOY from Q4 of last year
  • Housewares & Furnishings retailers in particular gained 29.3% in overall revenues, which included an increase of 121% in purchases made from smartphones
  • Brick-and-Mortar retailers grew overall online revenues by 25.4%, which included a gain of 163% in purchases made from smartphones
  • But conversion rates for shoppers on smartphones is still 3X lower than when shopping from a computer

MarketLive advises that merchants need to be aware of the interdependency between smartphones and brick-and-mortar sales, and support customers with mobile-responsive website design, offer social login, align in-store/mobile promotions, and carry the store brand experience across both.

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