Smartphones also influence more than one-third of all retail sales. Online retailers know that shoppers expect more from mobile but say they are not investing fast enough to keep up with technology and consumer expectations.

U.S. smartphone sales are expected to surpass $117 billion this year, which would be 23% of U.S. e-commerce sales in 2018 and 3% of total U.S. retail sales, according to Forrester Research Inc.’s estimates in “The State of U.S. M-commerce 2018” report.

Even though smartphones only account for 3% of retail sales, they’ve impacted 36%, or $1.32 trillion, of total retail sales, according to Forrester’s estimates. Forrester estimates total retail sales at $3.68 trillion.

This is in line with Forrester’s data from a consumer survey of 4,700 U.S. adults that found more than half of U.S. consumers use their smartphone to research products on a monthly basis, but only 32% purchase physical goods via their smartphone monthly.

Forrester estimates 2018’s total U.S. e-commerce sales to reach $506.7 billion, which represents 14% of total retail sales. Similar to smartphones, digital will impact more sales than it generates, with 53% of total retail sales, or $1.95 trillion, impacted by digital, according to Forrester.

Smartphones are an ever-increasing important part of retail sales, as they are an ever-increasing part of consumers’ lives. 80% of the U.S. population and 91% of the U.S. online population own at least one smartphone, Forrester estimates. In addition, U.S. adults spend an average of 3.3 hours per day on a smartphone, up from 2.8 hours in 2015.


And retailers are taking note of mobile’s importance. Nearly 60% of respondents to Oracle Corp.’s 2018 Retail Mobility Insights said their company embraces digital and mobile. But there’s more work to be done given that they also said their companies were not investing quickly enough to keep pace with the speed of technology change or consumer expectations.

More than three quarters of retailers (77%) said that shoppers expect retailers to anticipate their need by analyzing their loyalty, purchase history and brand interaction data.

However, only 47% of retailers said their mobile strategy is actually increasing shopping basket size in-store and online by catching consumers at the point of intent.


In fact, 62% of retailers agree with the statement they may be “leaving money on the table by offering general discounts to all shoppers versus tailored offerings to target consumers.”

The Oracle survey also found:

  • 46.2% of retailers say they are well positioned logistically to support an omnichannel shopping experience, with distribution centers to fulfill orders placed online or through mobile for delivery to any preferred destination.
  • 59.7% of retailers agree with the statement, “Our company will likely face disruption from more innovative, nimble, customer-centric organizations or service providers.”
  • 44.6% of retailers say they empower employees with mobile capabilities so they can perform their job regardless of where they are.