The number of online shoppers was up 18 percent in the first quarter, driving 83 percent of the digital commerce growth. In addition, shopper spend—frequency of site visit combined with conversion rate and average order value—grew 4 percent and was responsible for 17 percent of the growth, according to findings in Demandware's "Q1 2015 Shopping Index."
Mobile was a big winner in the quarter, with orders increasing by 59 percent, accounting for 18 percent of all orders. Overall, mobile orders accounted for 35 percent of all traffic, up 38 percent year over year.
However, the duration of time shoppers spent on their phones shrunk 43 percent to 8.4 minutes, and overall shopping episodes were also down 31 percent to 8.9 minutes.
Frequency of online visits to the same retail site is up 9 percent, with genreal traffic up 24 percent.
Finally, average order size per shopper increased 6 percent year over year, and discounts reduced order size by 13 percent.
"The latest Shopping Index underscores the transformative, consumer driven changes taking place in retail," said Elana Anderson, SVP of worldwide marketing at Demandware. "Orders and visits from mobile devices are soaring and we expect to see this trend continue for the foreseeable future. To stay ahead of this evolution, retailers must find new ways to make personal, quality connections with consumers. At the end of the day, it's all about facilitating a comprehensive experience that weaves together the shopping journey regardless of where or how the consumer is interacting—whether on a site, in-store, on their phone, on a social platform, or any other interaction method."
Online sales were already seeing a strong upswing in 2014. U.S. e-commerce sales reached $79.6 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent from the previous quarter, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce's Q4 2014 report.
While e-commerce continues to grow strong, for now, in-store is still the place of preference for most shoppers. While 68 percent of U.S. respondents say they intentionally browse products in a store before purchasing them online, 73 percent said they browse online and then purchase the products in-store, based on a recent PwC survey.
-See this Demandware press release
67% of all holiday gift cards were digital
Sephora unveils innovation lab, launches new digital initiatives
Nordstrom announces aggressive $1B e-commerce plan
Online sales top $300B
Store traffic, sales down 8% in January