As retailers improve their inventory and fulfillment options, the gap between in-store and online commerce appears to be shrinking, at least according to a new report.
The report, eMarketer’s “US Holiday eCommerce Preview 2016: Mobile to Fuel Explosive Commerce Growth,” cites better fulfillment options, better advertising tools and the growth of omnichannel as helping to narrow the gap.
Mobile is currently one of the largest drivers of online sales, according to the report, as 45 percent of all shopping excursions now include consumers interacting with a mobile device.
While U.S. foot traffic to retail stores saw its largest drop, 9.9 percent, in May, according to RetailNext.
“You have to think of [online and offline] as one store, but that’s a huge investment for brands to join their technologies,” Chris Haines, director of strategy at the eCommerce strategy, design and technology firm Fluid, told eMarketer. “Brands are making that investment and it really is paying off.”
Improved inventory systems and better fulfillment options have also contributed to growth over the past year, as most large retailers now offer some form of buy online and pickup in stores, although only 42 percent of retailers offering that option surveyed by Boston Retail Partners in April of 2016 reported delivering a decent experience to customers, meaning there is still room to grow in that area.
U.S mobile ad spending is expected to increase by $12.8 billion in 2016, with large chunk of that coming during the holidays. According to a study by Merkle, mobile ads accounted for 58 percent of ad clicks and 40 percent of all search ad spending in the second quarter of 2016.