52% of purchases now on mobile

The days when shoppers browsed on mobile and switched to a desktop to buy are fading, as this channel now captures more than half of all e-commerce transactions.

In the first half of 2016, top U.S. retailers grew mobile sales by 30 percent as mobile sales now account for 52 percent of all digital purchases, according to a new report by Criteo. Across all U.S. retailers, mobile share of e-commerce transactions increased by 17 percent year-over-year.

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“Mobile commerce has reached a turning point and is surpassing desktop purchasing as retailers continue to evolve their mobile shopping platforms,” said Elie Kanaan, exec-VP of marketing, Criteo. “Retailers need to create a truly seamless mobile and cross-device experience and be prepared to engage with users no matter where they are along the path to purchase. Brands that master the mobile trend will have a head start on competitors and the momentum to lead the pack through the shopping seasons ahead.”

Smartphones are the clear device of choice, and for the first time make up the majority of mobile transactions in the U.S. at 67 percent, a 26 percent growth rate year over year.

This is in part due to the investment that retailers have made in apps. Features such as home screen presence, faster loading, offline content, push notifications, personalization and access to native functionality contribute to an improved and more immersive shopping experience, according to the report.

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Apps far exceed mobile web in purchase activity and convert three times more shoppers. Apps have bigger order values than desktop and mobile web orders, with an average of $127 spent in-app versus $100 on desktop and $91 on mobile web.

This is a big shift from years past, when shoppers largely used the small screen to compare prices and read reviews, then made big ticket purchases on the desktop.