How shoppers’ online behaviour is changing

Shoppers were more likely to search on mobile than on desktop for the first time in the first quarter of 2017, according to new Salesforce data.

In the UK, some 35 per cent of revenue over that period of time came from site search, Salesforce’s Q1 2017 Shopping Index found. At the same time, revenue from digital commerce grew by 8 per cent.

The study, which analyses the shopping activity of more than 500m shoppers across 27 countries, found that during the quarter 53 per cent of traffic and 32 per cent of orders came via mobile devices. Overall orders grew by 10 per cent, with smartphone orders up by 33 per cent and desktop orders by 2 per cent, but tablet orders down by 3 per cent.

Meanwhile, overall traffic grew by 6 per cent, with smartphone traffic up by 23 per cent, tablet traffic down by 15 per cent and computer traffic down by 6 per cent. At the same time, conversion rates and average order values both grew by 3 per cent, with the result that shopper spending grew faster than traffic growth to drive overall digital commerce growth by 12 per cent.

Jamie Merrick, director of industry insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud  said: “A couple years ago, if you were browsing Facebook on your phone and saw a jumper you wanted to buy, you had to wait until you got to your computer to log on and purchase it. However, now, with the evolution of mobile, we can easily search on-the-go and make a purchase instantly.

“In fact, our latest Shopping Index shows that for the first time, search functions used on phones surpassed search functions on computers in Q1 2017. And in the UK, site search resulted in 35 per cent of revenue, the highest rate globally.

“Given that the conversion rate of a shopper who has used a search function is three times higher than non-search traffic, this has a huge impact on UK retailers’ approach to commerce. Having a mobile-first approach is key to ensuring shoppers have a seamless and easy mobile experience so that retailers don’t miss out on revenue growth. Furthermore, this trend in mobile search also highlights the importance of unified commerce across all channels – if a customer shops in-store, browses online or purchases on mobile, the experience should be consistent and as pleasurable for the customer as possible.”