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Mobile to drive e-commerce this holiday season

Mobile will dominate the 2018 holiday season, delivering 68 per cent of all e-commerce traffic and representing a 19 per cent year-on-year growth, according to research from Salesforce.

Traffic through mobile devices is set to peak on Christmas Eve, accounting for 72 per cent of all visits and set to make up over half of all orders for the period.

“Mobile is undoubtedly the most disruptive force in retail since the onset of e-commerce,” Salesforce head of consumer insights Rick Kenney said.

“This is the year shoppers turn to phones, buying more on phones than any other device… we’ll see more visits from phones this season than total e-commerce visits across the entire 2015 shopping season.”

Forty-six per cent of all orders are expected to come through a customers smartphone, slightly ahead of computers (44 per cent) and far outpacing tablets (9 per cent).

Kenney noted that  shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices as a second screen in-store – with 83 per cent of shoppers aged 18-44 using their phones while in a physical store.

Instagram is poised to emerge as the fastest growing social channel for referring digital traffic to retail sites this holiday season, growing at a rate of 51 per cent year-over-year, while Facebook is expected to see a 7 per cent decline.

Earlier this year, Instagram facilitated this growth by bringing its Instagram Shopping platform to Australia, as well as expanding the initiative’s reach into the popular Stories function – a function that over 300 million users interact with each day.

Health and beauty retailers are expected to see a large increase in traffic to e-commerce platforms through Instagram, given that the platform lends itself to these industries.

Social traffic share is expected to surpass 5 per cent over the holiday period, a 17 per cent increase over last year’s share.

Additionally, revenue driven from AI-powered product recommendations is set to grow by 25 per cent year-over-year, and will drive 35 per cent of all revenue.

“Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they don’t feel that retailers truly know them,” Kenney said.

“But, retailers who infuse AI into the shopping experience can better understand customer needs and drive increased revenue with capabilities like personalised product recommendations.”

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