The increase in the number of customers who shop online and the frequency of online visits by these consumers is unequivocally the most important reason for digital growth in retail. Part of that process in these hectic times finds consumers switching from mobile telephone to laptop to tablet. This behaviour is referred to as cross-device shopping. The phenomenon can be useful for retail.

Cloud commerce involves completing entire transactions (from offers and sales to completing administrative procedures) outside of the seller’s domain. This was just pie in the sky barely five years ago but is now a daily cost at American glossy blogs and luxury brands. Uniting the shopping experience across devices is crucial. When moving from one device to another, the person shopping expects the websites to handle the switch effortlessly. Retailers must ensure that personal elements such as the shopping cart, sales items and even customer recommendations follow the shopper seamlessly from one device to another.

It is mainly cross-device shopping that has enabled the substantial increase of consumer visits to commercial websites in recent years. The amount of smartphone traffic and orders are quickly increasing. Customers are visiting sites more frequently and making actual purchases, the length of the shop visit is decreasing. Android (operating system based on the Linux kernel and the Java programming platform) is more popular than iOS (Apple’s operating system), discounts, and free shipping are significantly on the rise as well. Authoritative studies make the importance of continued investments in mobile solutions crystal clear. Customers have discovered a new, favourite combination of equipment. The PC with the smartphone now appears to be the most popular combination. The previous favourite was the PC with the tablet. This shows that mobile shopping is undeniably gaining ground. It is clear that the shopping consumer uses his smartphone to do so more and more often. This process is undergoing an enormous change globally. Investments in mobile solutions must be focused on even better tools and experiences that are custom-made for exact, specific various devices.

Today’s shopping carts are by definition already standardly transferable to a variety of devices. Whenever he wishes, the customer is just one click away from his following purchase. Retail can unquestionably profit from this by making targeted offers and offering advice about products. More than ever, retailers must provide inviting content about brands and the shopping experience itself but also tools that demand and hold the attention of the consumer. After all, more and more time is being spent on social media channels and on sites offering amusement and recreation. And then, especially on mobile devices.

It is perfectly clear that Android is playing an increasingly larger part in all these devices and that retail must create exceptional mobile shopping possibilities for both iOS and Android. It is widely expected that cross-device shopping will become even more prominent than it is now. Smartphones will generate the most traffic and will overtake PCs as the most popular device for online shopping. 2015 revealed that a worldwide increase in mobile traffic was taking place as well as an enormous growth in the number of digital commercial transactions. It appears that the Benelux is frontrunner in the number of website visits (36%), shopping baskets created (45%) and orders placed (37%) compared to the rest of the world, and that says quite a lot. On the other hand, the consumer in the Benelux orders less via a mobile telephone, but still orders more often via the computer than the rest of the world does. Globally, mobile devices are growing as an integral part of our daily life and these facts emphasise the transformational, customer-driven changes in the retail sector, say those that have further studied the industry. It is as clear as daylight that this trend will continue in the future. In order to anticipate these developments, retailers must find ways to make personal and high quality connections with customers. In the end, it is all about customers having a good shopping experience, whether they contact the retailer online, in-store, via their telephone or through social media.