Mobile shopping

The Salesforce Q2 2017 Shopping Index confirmed that consumers are increasingly shifting their shopping and perusing to mobile phones. The analysis noted that social and mobile commerce continues to be prime influences in shaping the retail landscape.

To mine the conclusions, the index reviewed shopping activity of 716 digital commerce sites. Thirty-five countries and 500 million shoppers — and two billion visits — were included in the analysis. To qualify for inclusion, a digital commerce site must have transacted between the second quarter of 2015 and the same period this year and also met a monthly minimum visit threshold.

Not coincidentally, the research found that in addition to mobile traffic share rising, social traffic was also up. “Social accounts for an increasing slice of that mobile traffic, up 42 percent over last year at 6 percent. Social is fast becoming the face of the brand, an important part of the marketing mix, and the point at which shoppers interact with a brand for the first time,” the report said.

Shopper spend remained as the main factor for digital commerce. “Shopper spend outpaced traffic as the primary driver of the 14 percent digital commerce growth year-over-year. It is now more important than ever to effectively engage shoppers on-site with personalized and relevant interactions,” the report said.

Specifically Canada’s digital commerce was the highest over the period — marking a 41 percent year-over-year increase. Australia and New Zealand followed with a 35 percent annual boost. The U.S. had 15 percent digital commerce growth — the third-highest region.

Order growth stayed relatively flat from the first quarter of the year, but traffic growth had significant movement. In the last quarter, computer traffic fell an additional 11 percent — which compares to a 7 percent decline in the first quarter. This even further underscores the relevance of devising engaging and seamless mobile shopping experiences — consumers are perusing on their desktops less and less.

Shopper spend was up from $2.32 to $2.51 year-over-year, the report said. What’s more, this was an increase from $2.38 in the previous quarter. Order share trended downward for computers and tablets — computer orders fell from 59 percent in the second quarter of 2016 to 55 percent in the second quarter this year, and tablet orders fell 1 percent annually.

Perhaps most profoundly, social traffic has exploded year-over-year in the second quarter. Generally, social traffic has increased 4 percent year-over-year. Mobile social traffic was up 6 percent, a rise from 4 percent in the second quarter of 2016. And while social traffic swells, visit duration plummets from the last two quarters. Overall traffic duration averaged around six minutes — tablets secured the longest time spent at seven minutes, mobile traffic had the least at five minutes.

Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, synthesized the index in three actionable steps for retailers to draw and maintain consumers.

“Site search is an absolutely crucial utility for your shoppers, accounting for 10 percent of site visits and 23 percent of all revenue and both values are increasing. To help alleviate some of this burden, embed Artificial Intelligence into search to paint the search results with relevance,” he said.

He also suggested investing in personalization functionality. “The product detail page is the new battleground. It’s the point where they decide whether to add an item to their cart, or not. Beyond the ‘add to cart’ button, personalizing the PDP is a mandate, and helps shoppers navigate either back to recently viewed items or forward to discover something selected just for them.”

But these efforts will be futile unless an emotional connection between consumer and brand is distinct, and authentic. He said, “Why do shoppers love brands like American Giant, ModCloth and Everlane? Because they stand for something, allowing for the shopper to connect on a personal level. Each brand tells their story and immerses the shopper in that feeling throughout their journey. Your brand is the conduit that connects shopper and product. Don’t forget to humanize the experience.”

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