As more consumers opt to shop using mobile devices, more retailers are looking at ways to unify the checkout experience, according to the “State of Retailing Online 2018” report released this week by Shop.org, the digital arm of the National Retail Federation.
Completed in conjunction with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., the report, which includes responses from 76 North American retailers, found that year-over-year sales growth via a mobile browser increased 36%, compared with 16% growth via an app, and 8% on desktops.
A majority of online traffic—49%—came from mobile browsers, too, in comparison to 46% from desktops, and 5% for mobile apps. This makes omnichannel commerce that much more important to online retailers.
“Retailers continue to catch up to industry standards with respect to synchronizing their stores,” Sucharita Kodall, Forrester vice president and principal analyst, said in the report. “When asked about their top customer-facing digital priority within stores, more retailers noted efforts like in-store pickup and endless aisle than anything else.”
Indeed, omnichannel commerce, such as enabling purchase-in-aisle and buy-online-pay-in-store technologies, is a priority in 2018, with 21% declaring it a top initiative. In comparison, adding mobile point-of-sale technology is a priority for only 3%.
As for back-end technologies, only 5% say payments and checkout are a priority in 2018. Most—33%—anticipate major changes to their commerce platforms, and 18% want to improve their site performance.