Maturity is a dangerous word when applied to digital. In a space where we are always hopping to the next breakthrough, maturity is often synonymous with outdated, uninspired ‘legacy tech.’ But here we are – seeing the first real sign of maturity in digital commerce – flat traffic growth – but it’s OK. It’s actually much better than OK. In a quarter where our latest Shopping Index reports flat traffic growth to retail sites year-over-year, digital revenue growth continues to be healthy, at 15% in Q3. The source of that growth is what points to maturity; shopper spend is carrying, almost exclusively, the growth. So, those tire kickers who in the past have added items to carts only to leave them there, are taking the plunge and buying in digital.
But back to that whole flat traffic part. The real story of digital commerce in Q3 is the redistribution of visits and another huge leap to mobile, which has now clearly passed the tipping point, and accounts for 58% of traffic to retail sites. All that traffic is driving all-time highs for mobile order share, 38%, and mobile conversion rate, which is up 33% over the past two years. Computers are on the brink of falling below 50% of orders for the first time. And, at the tail end of this holiday shopping season, we’ll see some shopping days where computers fall UNDER 50%. Mobile is the fuel driving the rise in digital maturity as more shoppers choose to buy – on phones.
We’re seeing another important trend emerging, too. We’ve been watching social media’s contribution to traffic, which has more than doubled over the past two years and now accounts for 6% of mobile traffic to retail sites. However, direct attribution of orders is lagging, as social media is proving to be a great place to attract new shoppers, but shouldn’t be counted on to carry its weight in conversion – at least, not yet.
New this quarter, for the first time we are including digital commerce shopping data from the Nordics, bringing the total number of global regions we analyze to seven.
So here’s where we’re at – Digital commerce is both maturing and growing. But unlike other industries, maturity doesn’t have to mean boring and complacent. When it comes to digital commerce, maturing looks influential and innovative.
For more data-driven insights, take a look at the latest Shopping Index, which uncovers the true story of shopping activity of more than 500 million shoppers across the globe, with a focus on key markets: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France and Australia/New Zealand and, new this quarter, the Nordics. This battery of benchmarks provides a deep look into the last nine quarters and the current state of digital commerce.