online shopping

Released today, Salesforce’s “Q2 2017 Digital Shopping Index” revealed a transition in online consumer behavior that’s shifting the e-commerce landscape. The index aims to identify changes in online shopping behavior — in the most recent iteration, the analysis found that for the first time shopper spend is outpacing traffic as the primary driver of digital commerce growth.

To collect the results, Salesforce followed 725 digital commerce sites. To be included in the analysis, e-commerce sites had to have transacted between the second quarter of 2015 and the same period this year, and meet a monthly minimum threshold. Thirty-seven companies, 500 million shoppers and two billion visits were included within the analysis.

The study found that mobile is continuing to corner traffic share — the research found that mobile is 53 percent of traffic and 32 percent of orders. Additional key findings included that 16 percent of shoppers demonstrated buying signals and average order value when up three percent year-on-year.

“This quarter, growth in shopper spend slightly outpaced traffic growth to drive overall digital commerce growth (12 percent) for the first time. This shift was influenced by increases in both conversion rate (up three percent) and average order value (up three percent),” the report said. “Active shoppers (16 percent) that searched, added to their carts or started a checkout generated the highest rate ever outside a non-Q4 period.”

Canada boasted the largest growth over the period — securing 24 percent increase year-on-year. Australia and New Zealand increased by 21 percent and France upped its digital commerce by 17 percent.

Shopper spend averaged $2.50 — up from $2.35 last year. That said, shopper spend dropped from $2.98 during the fourth quarter of 2016, which included the holiday season.

The analysis confirmed that mobile continues to corner traffic share — mobile traffic increased by 23 percent year-on-year. Mobile order growth rose to 33 percent over the same period. Conversely tablet growth plummeted by 15 percent — orders via tablets also fell by three percent annually. Computer traffic also dropped by six percent, though its order share slightly increased by two percent.

All is not lost for tablets just yet, though. The research found that tablets had the largest number — 19 percent — of active shoppers and four percent of buyers. Seventeen percent of mobile shoppers demonstrated active intent and two percent buyers. Fifteen percent of active shoppers were on computers and had four percent of buyers.

Shoppers spent the longest duration on their tablets — averaging eight minutes per visit. Consumers averaged seven minutes on their computers, while they spend six minutes on their mobiles. Visit duration across devices is trending down — suggesting that consumers are becoming savvy at switching between e-commerce sites and will leave a site should they not immediately find products according to personal preferences.

As traffic plateaus, retailers and brands will be charged with improving digital e-commerce experiences. This is where artificial intelligence, or AI, namely personalization will be paramount in increasing shopper spend and visit longevity among other factors.

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