This morning when I woke up, one of the first things I did was pick up my iPhone. It’s increasingly part of my morning ritual – whether its checking the weather app for the day’s forecast or using the Starbucks app to pay for my morning coffee on the way to work. And I am not the only one. Forrester forecasts that European online retail sales will increasingly come from sales completed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

 Forrester has now updated its  Western European online retail sales forecast for 2013 to 2018, which plots the growth rate of online sales across 17 European countries and 22 categories. Key takeaways from the forecast include:

  • European online retail sales will continue their double-digit growth through 2018 with a CAGR of 12% from 2013 to 2018, resulting in an online retail market worth €233.9 billion by 2018
  • Southern European markets will grow faster than Northern European markets as they continue to mature. However, the more mature northern European markets are larger online retail markets overall.
  • Online retail sales will be increasingly from mobile devices. Just under half of all online retail sales across the EU-7 will be from online purchases made using a smartphone or tablet by 2018
  • The online grocery category will grow at the fastest rate through 2018 and will surpass consumer electronics to become the second-largest online category in Europe by 2018.

So, Western European online retail sales growth will continue to outperform overall retail sales through to 2018 and will increasingly come from sales completed over mobile devices. However, consumers are already adding multiple digital touchpoints to their shopping journey, regardless of where they finally complete the transaction. From using the store locator function on a mobile app, to checking product details and pricing on a tablet while at home in front of the TV, digital touchpoints and mobile devices, increasingly feed into consumers’ shopping behaviors. UK department stores House of Fraser and John Lewis now have half of all online traffic coming from mobile devices. House of Fraser has responded by going ‘mobile first’ when it comes to its web presence. 

eBusiness professionals need to pay attention to their target customers’ increasingly multitouchpoint shopping behavior. They should map their customer journey, work to enable seamless cross touchpoint experiences and continually optimize their overall digital presence to ‘be there’ at customers moment of need…  or risk losing out.