A new report from Demandware, a Salesforce company, indicates that phones are now the top device driving ecommerce traffic, accounting for 45 percent of traffic globally and 47 percent in the U.S. When it comes to retail conversions, however, it's not how a shopper starts a transaction but rather how her or she finishes it; typically that's not on mobile but not for lack of trying.
Over the past year, there has been a 4.5 percent growth in mobile checkout start rate, which was the highest across all devices. This led, according to Demandware, to the creation of 77 percent more mobile checkout starts, which accounted for 79 percent of all the new checkouts started across digital commerce. Mobile phones, however, still lag the overall checkout start rate by 26 percent as of Q1 2016.
Demandware is optimistic though. It expects to see more orders on phones than any other device by the end of 2017. Holidays 2016 will certainly be a big indicator of where mobile retail is headed especially when it comes to Apple Pay adoption. Apple Pay is hitting the Web in fall of this year and will give shoppers, who intend to checkout on mobile devices, an easier way to process their orders by using their stored payment credentials. Couple Apple Pay with guest checkout, touch keypads or other mobile-friendly elements, and there's no reason why mobile conversions can't overtake desktop even sooner than expected. After all, the traffic and intent is already there, and retailers should already know - at this point - how to capitalize on it.