Left to our own devices

cross device shopping

On March 18th, ecommerce technology giant Demandware broke the news of their Shopping Index measuring digital commerce growth. They found a 6% increase in shopper spent as well as a 25% increase in shopper attraction totalling a 32% digital commerce growth. These are fascinating figures. It seems digital commerce keeps growing, and naturally so does my interest in finding out what led to this and what lies ahead.

According to the Demandware Shopping Index we’ve seen a digital commerce growth of overall 32% because of higher shopping spent but especially because of increased attraction of shoppers. This is great news for Retailers.

One fact missing though is whether this is gross or net revenue. A very central component when dealing with ecommerce is the return rate. Since a lot of companies struggle with extremely high return rates north of 30%, this has to be taken into account when evaluating growth rates in digital commerce.

However Demandware reveals that the biggest value driver is a major increase in shopping attraction, pointing towards new orders and not just more items (and possible returns) per shopper. How this attraction is happening is not crystal clear but it would be nice to know if this has something to do with increased spending driving traffic to the site, which is a major and crucial cost factor.

Speaking of devices. One very interesting fact is the numbers Demandware published about M-commerce. The companies have been trying for years to give the shoppers the opportunities to access online stores from basically everywhere and from all devices known to man, but now that they’ve succeeded in doing so, is it at all showing at their bottom line?

With the increased traffic numbers from mobile and tablets, it is interesting to see that in the UK they actually manage to convert this traffic to sales. Globally, the overall visit share from desktops was down 16%, and now accounts for 52% of the traffic and 67% of the orders while mobile phones and tablet account for 16% and 17% of the orders. In the UK desktops only accounts for 46% of the traffic and 53% of the orders while mobile phones and tablets accounts for 23% and 24% of the orders. In other words the share of orders on mobile and tablets are more than 40% higher compared to the rest of the world.

I predict that the rest of Europe, as with anything else, will look to the British Isles for inspiration. Therefore we’ll probably see a lot of companies on this side of the canal investing heavily in creating even better and more frictionless purchase solutions making it more likely for shoppers to make the final call on their phones or tablets.

That’s it for now. I’m writing this post on an old fashioned computer and you’re probably reading it on a phone bought on a tablet while trying on a t-shirt you might send back.