Home computers and mobile devices have come an extraordinarily long way since they were first introduced in the 80s. Modern mobile devices are various sizes (though all less heavy and skinnier than anything in the 80s) and can perform all the functions that average people use their desktops for and the modern desktop with internet access can open the world up to consumers. new report from Demandware shows that digital commerce is growing rapidly, and it's something business owners should take note of.

Demandware recently released the latest update to their Shopping Index. The Index measures digital commerce growth and is 'based on an analysis of the shopping activity of over 200 million shoppers worldwide'. This index considers multiple factors that are of interest to business owners and marketers. The factors are: shopper frequency, conversion rates, average order values and net change in shoppers.

The Shopping Index show digital commerce increased 23 percent during the first quarter of the year, compared with 20 percent growth during the same period last year (Q1 2014 vs. Q1 2013). More than 80 percent of this growth has been driven by increasing traffic to ecommerce sites. Shopping Attraction grew 18 percent YoY growth of in-market shoppers.

Shopper Spend, a metric derived by multiplying shopper frequency, the conversion rate and average order value for a market, rose 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. This is a good rate of growth, but it trailed the growth of 7 percent seen in the 2014 YoY numbers. All the same, Shopper Spend contributed 17 percent to the total growth in digital commerce the researchers noted.

According to the data, business transactions via mobile device increased by 59 percent in the first quarter of 2015. These mobile transactions accounting for 18 percent of all orders. This means that one in six orders happened on a mobile device during the first part of the year. This activity is resulting in a lot of extra traffic to websites. Mobile orders accounted for 35 percent of all traffic, up 38 percent from the same period last year.

"The latest Shopping Index underscores the transformative, consumer-driven changes taking place in retail," said Elana Anderson, SVP Worldwide Marketing, Demandware, in a press release. "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."

This wasn't a report where everything improved. The study also found that the length of time shoppers spent on their mobile devices dropped to 8.4 minutes a 43 percent drop from the time spent on devices in the first quarter of 2014. Similarly, the duration of visits fell 31 percent for all devices, down to 8.9 minutes. Additionally, the data showed that discounts had reduced order value by 13 percent.

These declines were offset by increases in other areas. The average order size per shopper increased 6 percent during the first quarter. Digital commerce traffic to website was up 24 percent in general during the first quarter and website visits per shopper also increased 9 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2014.

A key factor in this growth is the increase in cross device traffic and shopping. About one in five (21%) shoppers chose to visit the same site with more than one device type during the Q1 2015, up from 18 percent a year ago. In fact this is the same rate established during the busy Q4 shopping quarter so this suggests that cross device sales will continue into the future.

Regardless of its type all devices saw an increase in traffic and spending. Desktop saw a growth of 51 percent for traffic and 66 percent for the number of orders from that device type. For tablets, it was a 13 percent increase in traffic and 16 percent for orders. And for smartphones, traffic (35%) greatly outpaced growth in orders (18%).

The Demandware study is full of great information that business owners and marketers can use to plan better campaigns into the future. Other topics include an analysis of shopper activity, the operating systems used and the most popular discounts.

For more data that shows the continued growth of ecommerce, read this article about the growth in the internet of things.

Published on: Jun 29, 2015
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