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Nielsen: how smartphones are changing retail

The ecommerce landscape is a constant evolvement for retailers to keep up with. The latest statistics from Nielsen take a look at how quickly ecommerce is evolving thanks to smartphones.

According to Nielsen, ecommerce represents, roughly, one-tenth of the total $28 trillion global retail market. Although a sizable chunk is still brick and mortar, online is growing at a faster rate.

Globally, online retail is expected to grow 20 percent to $4 trillion by 2020. This report of growth brings in the questions of how are retailers, who have enjoyed a relative complacent market, going to keep up with such a quick spike?

It is not an easy prospect that retailers are facing. The relationship between smartphone ownership and retail e-commerce is complicated, while it’s a strong relationship, the reach of smartphones alone isn’t sufficient for strong e-commerce development.

According to Nielsen however, in New Zealand specifically, the relationship is stronger. With smartphones penetrating 85 percent of our retail market. The can mean that consumers online and mobile behaviors are the main things changing shopping trends.

This relationship between our trends and a change in retail involvement can be thanks to our geographical location. Smartphones are predominantly how consumers find out about overseas trends, which are then boosted in popularity and subsequently delivered into our market.

As Nielsen says, the relationship is complicated, retail e-commerce appears to walk hand-in-hand with a market’s smartphone penetration, but there are outliers, and they can’t be easily explained. Such as the outliers on the graph above.

Ecommerce is going to continue to grow, and retailers will have to dedicate time, money and effort into making sure they keep up with the consumer demand for a seamless online experience.

Not just desktop, but smartphone apps must also be utilised to keep up with the amount of time consumers spend on their phones.

According to Business Insider, the average 18-24 year old spends 19 hours a week staring at their phone, while that number drops to 17 for 25-34 year olds. 

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