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Survey: Nearly half of smartphone traffic comes from search

BY Dan Berthiaume

PITTSBURGH — Smartphone users are looking for something. According to a new report from Branding Brand's Mobile Commerce Index, 43% of all smartphone traffic came from search in first-quarter 2015, a 5% increase compared to fourth quarter 2014.
 
According to the report, 27% of smartphone traffic arrived direct; 16% arrived from email; and 14% arrived from referrals.
 
The Index also revealed that Apple devices accounted for 59% of all smartphone visits in the quarter. Visits from users running iOS 8 grew 30%, while iOS 7 dropped 42% from the prior quarter. Google is scheduled to change its search ranking algorithm to weight mobile-optimized sites more heavily.
 
"Search is the leading source of traffic to retailers' smartphone sites," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand CEO and co-founder. "Retailers need to focus on providing mobile friendly experiences that not only convert but can also get found in the first place."
 
The 100 mobile-optimized sites in the study received a total of 280 million visits from January 1 to March 31, 2015 and produced $233 million in revenue. During this time, 28% of all online revenue was generated by mobile devices.
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Study: Sales per shopper rise in March

BY Dan Berthiaume

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Despite declining store traffic during March 2015, retailers benefited from increased sales per shopper , average transaction value and conversion rates. According to the March 2015 RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse, SPS grew 5.8% compared to the same month a year earlier, perhaps reflecting pent-up consumer demand after a difficult winter.
 
In addition, ATV grew 3.5% and conversions increased 0.9%, further suggesting consumers who visited stores were looking to make purchases. Returns stayed flat.
 
Not all in-store retail trends for the month were positive, however. Traffic dropped 8.2%, likely reflecting lingering bad weather in much of the country. Transactions declined 5.8% and sales fell 3.2%.
 
The first Saturday of the month, March 7, showed the highest sales, traffic, transactions, conversion and SPS. The lowest traffic, sales and transactions occurred Tuesday, March 3.
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NRF announces creation of Retail Research and Analysis Center

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation announced a multimillion-dollar investment to form a new department within the organization focusing on industry research. The new Retail Research and Analysis Center will bring together all existing research within NRF and expand upon the wide range of issue areas and trends already studied.
 
The Center will focus on four main areas: the economy, legislative and regulatory policy, the retail industry and consumers.
 
Ellen Davis will now serve as NRF’s senior VP of research and strategic initiatives. Davis will also continue to function as executive director of the NRF Foundation.
 
NRF has started an extensive search for a VP of research development and industry analysis, reporting to Davis. Current staff and consultant resources are being utilized and additional dedicated staffing is anticipated.
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