USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Gone mobile

Online ‘snacking’ could drive shipping spikes

A hand holding a tablet device.
Online shoppers are increasingly making impulse purchases on their phones, which could produce more shipping spikes.

More online shoppers are making impulse purchases on their mobile devices, a phenomenon known as “snacking” that could drive further growth in the shipping sector.

Instead of placing one big order from a computer, people are increasingly buying a few items in multiple orders on their phones throughout the day, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

“Mobile devices are driving demand,” Andrew Lipsman, a vice president for online research firm comSore, told the Journal. “They can create an impulsive buying moment at any point in the day because they are with you all the time.”

Sales from mobile devices jumped 56 percent to $49.2 billion last year, doubling the previous year’s growth, according to comScore. The growth holds promise for shippers like USPS, whose package volumes have surged on the strength of online shopping.

Although shoppers are more likely to buy big-ticket items from computers, retailers are training customers to turn to their phones for household goods and apparel.

Bakersfield, CA, resident Olivia Bryant, 19, told the Journal she spends several hours each day shopping from retailers like Poshmark on her smartphone.

“It’s much simpler to shop on my phone,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of distractions.”

Post-story highlights