- The number of U.S. adults buying on mobile is increasing, according to Forrester’s 2023 Retail Mobile Websites report shared with Retail Dive. That data shows that 37% of U.S. adults mobile sites to transact over the past three months, an increase from 29% in 2021.
- The channel is not without its challenges, though. Citing data it collected in 2022, Forrester noted that a third of American shoppers who don’t make smartphone purchases said it’s because it’s easier to transact via computers. About a quarter (23%) said it’s because their screens are too small for shopping.
- Guest checkout is key, with more than half (55%) of participants in the firm’s usability test saying it’s a critical feature for retailer’s mobile websites. Two of the 10 retailers Forrester reviewed still didn’t offer guest checkout as an option, per the report.
Forrester’s report pointed to some areas where retailers could improve its checkout experience. The report noted that 13% of U.S. adults said faster checkout is a critical factor in choosing where to shop. But only one of the retailers Forrester reviewed could complete a transaction in under two page loads: Nike.
The 2022 holiday season illustrated how vital mobile commerce is for winning over shoppers. Mobile shopping comprised over half (55%) of overall online retail sales on Thanksgiving, up 8.3% year-over-year, according to Adobe. Shoppers went on to spend 61% of online sales through their smartphones on Christmas.
E-commerce platforms have been introducing shopping features to improve the mobile experience as well. In November, Etsy unveiled its visual image search capabilities, enabling shoppers to photograph or upload images of items they’re seeking on the marketplace. The following month, Amazon added the Inspire feature to its mobile app, where shoppers can view video and photo content about new products.
In December, Walmart rolled out a different kind of mobile shopping experience, debuting its Text to Shop tool for iOS and Android users. Users text the name of their desired items to the retailer, which will add them to their shopping cart.
Despite increased adoption, mobile commerce has proved challenging. Earlier this month, Instagram said it is taking down its Shop tab from the homepage, eliminating a dedicated shopping destination, but users can still shop on the app. Shortly after, Pinterest announced that Julie Bornstein, the platform’s chief shopping officer, is transitioning into an adviser role. Bornstein joined the company after it acquired The Yes, the artificial intelligence shopping startup she founded.