Move over computers – smartphones are now the leader in attracting e-commerce traffic. A study conducted by Demandware found that during the first quarter of 2016, 45.1 percent of onlineshopping traffic came from smartphones, with computers just behind at 45 percent. This percentage is only expected to grow, as Demandware anticipates that by the end of 2017, around 60 percent of all e-commerce will come from smartphones. 


The rapid adoption of mobile shopping has everyone paying attention. From 2013 to 2015, mobile sales doubled in amount and predictions show that by 2017, more orders will be placed on smartphones than any other device by shoppers. 


With technology advancing to benefit the convenience of the consumer, many consumers are now looking to make their purchases digitally – making purchases on smartphones a prime solution for the on-the-go shopper. Shoppers can now make purchases via a mobile web browser at their own convenience without ever having to step into a store. Research led by Nielsen discovered that 67% of smartphone shoppers shop at home. 


"Smartphones play a huge role in the purchase process: The percentage of purchases smartphones influence dwarfs the total amount of sales transacted on smartphones. Mobility and connected devices, especially smartphones, are changing everything about the way companies sell products and offer customer service,” said Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. 


Many larger retailers, such as Walmart, Kohl’s, and Target, are benefiting from mobile shopping by developing their own mobile apps. Target’s Cartwheel app offers shoppers discounts while they are shopping in-stores and has shown to be successful with an 85 percent increase in users. 


As a whole, retailers can anticipate online shopping to grow within mobile. EMarketer predicts that by 2019, 71 percent of U.S. consumers will own a smartphone, - this is a large increase compared to present day’s 59 percent. Comparably, Demandware expects that by the end of 2018, phones will surpass computers by 13 percent when it comes to online ordering.  


Although mobile shopping has shown progression, especially with shoppers, retailers have faced difficulties in obtaining major success with mobile solutions. According to Demandware, the completion of mobile-checkout is 11 percent lower than all other devices used collectively. This is due in part because of payment procedures that discourage shoppers from finalizing their orders as well as prolonged checkout times. 


“If they can get it right on mobile today and tomorrow, that’s where they’re going to see a lot of value going forward,” said Rick Kenney, author of the study and head of consumer insights for Demandware. 


It is clear online shopping has expanded beyond computers, as more and more shoppers now prefer to make purchases via their smartphone device. Retailers should make sure and have mobile platforms in place to accommodate the on-the-go shoppers. Not only will retailers be able to gain additional revenue beyond in-store purchases, but can also gain repeated business from those busy shoppers preferring to make purchases digitally.