Omnichannel retail opportunities add the flexibility of cross-channel and mobile shopping to the unique revenue-building capabilities of the retail experience. The vast opportunities for omnichannel retail success have evolved from a growth prospect to a principal business catalyst for many retailers; and taking a look back at the final numbers for the 2015 holiday season, merchants have reason to be optimistic as they head into the New Year—especially when it comes to mobile sales, which showed vast improvement over the past year.
As previously reported by LP Magazine, reports indicated that retail sales surged 7.9 percent between Black Friday and Christmas Eve compared to the same period last year, exceeding expectations by leading industry experts. As a whole sales were better than expected for the last two months of the year, with sales up 4.6% in November and December. Omnichannel retail resources were a strong contributor to this success, with e-commerce sales up 20 percent over the holiday season.
However, one specific device clearly served as a major catalyst for increased e-commerce sales. According to e-commerce technology provider MarketLive, smartphone revenue both in the post-holiday period and during the holiday season, dominated the results with revenues increasing more than 50 percent.
In terms of online visits, traffic to e-commerce sites from smartphones rose only incrementally over the past year. However, smartphone conversion rate—moving from using smartphones to visit e-commerce sites to actually making purchases on those sites—showed strong improvements. Additionally, the average order value (AOV) for e-commerce purchases increased at a higher rate for smartphones than for overall e-commerce orders. Smartphone AOV rose 9% to $140.63 from $129.06. This closed the gap between smartphone purchases and overall e-commerce AOV to less than 8 dollars. Overall, e-commerce average order value climbed 6% to $147.24 from $139.24.
The results speak to marked improvement in mobile-friendly retail shopping experiences compared with last year, when a significant number of brand sites still hadn’t been optimized for mobile users. Now, with solid gains to show for their 2015 mobile initiatives and the prospects for further gains in the coming year, merchants should feel confident in pursuing further omnichannel retail investments specifically targeting smartphones and other mobile devices in 2016.