Apple iPhone

Don’t believe the hype. Despite the ongoing, necessary discussion regarding the shift toward mobile commerce, desktops — or at least, desktop purchases — have yet to become obsolete. According to Gartner, PC, tablet and smartphone purchases are expected to surpass 2.35 billion units in 2018, posting a 2 percent annual increase.

The largest year-over-year increase since 2015, the statistics point to consumers’ ongoing interest in using desktop computers in addition to smartphones. “Our latest online end-user survey shows that users depend just as much on PCs or tablets as they do on smartphones,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “Forty percent of respondents said that they use mostly a PC/tablet for certain daily experiences, such as reading and writing detailed e-mails or watching videos, while 34 percent mostly use a smartphone for its convenience while on the move.”

To generate the research findings, 16,537 individuals between the ages of 18 and 74 participated in an online survey between June and July 2017.

Atwal also indicated that PC ownership tends to last longer than smartphones, which affected the revenue generated from sales. “Traditional PCs are forecasted to decline 4.4 percent in 2018 while mobile phone shipments are expected to increase 2.4 percent,” the report said.

Mobile phones, conversely, are set to deliver year-over-year growth, resulting in shipments of 1.9 billion units, the research found. Much of this is due to the launch of Apple’s newest model. “Given the late November availability of the iPhone X, we expect the iPhone’s replacement cycle to flow more strongly into 2018,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

What’s more, the research found that consumers are being drawn to larger brands, which they expect to push price competition. “Decrease in total mobile phone demand in 2017 is also expected to come from a weaker lower end of the smartphone market,” said Cozza. “For this segment, local vendors continue to struggle against the shift toward top brands, while component price increases affect the ability of some Android vendors to compete more aggressively on price.” While this is expecting to limit smartphone growth in 2017, the 2018 growth rate is accordingly estimated to be higher than previously forecast.

As retailers and brands continue to dedicate larger budgets and investments toward mobile experiences, it’s important to note that desktop spending still reigns as the top channel for e-commerce purchases. What’s more, fashion companies that are able to extend seamless experiences across channels — both desktop and smartphone — will likely secure large traffic and revenue share.

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