Skip to main content
By Mike Rittler
• Jan 8, 2018
General Manager of Retail Card Services, Personal Lending and Business Development

As technology changes, so do shopping habits. According to TD Bank's Retail Experience Index, 41% of Millennials (consumers ages 18 – 34) are shopping online “all the time,” with 26% of Gen-Xers and 17% of Boomers citing they also are turning online for their retail needs.

And now, with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile shopping, the next big shift in shopping behavior may just be around the corner. TD recently surveyed more than 100 retailers attending the Mobile Shopping Summit and found that a majority (58.5%) offer a mobile app and nearly all are looking at ways to enhance their mobile offering.

This suggests that what will really make mobile shopping the next big thing are all the tangential technologies that promise to significantly boost productivity and efficiency, and therefore sales revenues.

Here are four technologies that retailers are paying attention to in 2018 as they build out their mobile shopping capabilities.

A/B testing

Nearly a quarter of respondents in our Retail Experience Index (23.7%) named “A/B testing” as the technology they were most focused on enhancing in 2018, more than any other kind of technology. A/B testing, or split testing, is a commonly used method in marketing and analytics that allows a company to compare two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better.

Forward-thinking companies know that just launching a website or a mobile app isn’t enough. The most successful companies are constantly innovating by making various changes intended to boost productivity and efficiency while also creating a more holistic customer experience. A/B testing allows retailers to accumulate valuable data on how different features perform, which in turn allows them to make better decisions about which specific features to ultimately implement.

For example, a retailer may be considering adding a game to their mobile app that encourages shoppers to complete challenges to earn discounts. But what type of game do shoppers prefer to playA retailer could run a simple experiment where each shopper is randomly presented with just one of two games, say, either a target practice game or trivia game. If one game significantly outperforms the other, then that’s a clear signal that it belongs on the app.

Customer tracking

Customer tracking came in a close second with 21.4% of the vote. Although customer tracking systems are nothing new, recent advances in technology have made them more powerful than ever.

One potential application is building an algorithm that tracks where in a store customers are and for how long. Using this information, a store manager can dictate to his or her sales staff about where to go and targeting the shoppers that seem to be having the most trouble making a decision. This increases conversion rates and helps make shoppers feel like they are getting the help they need.

Of course, not all consumers are going to want to sacrifice their privacy by constantly broadcasting their whereabouts. But for the right retailer and the right target demographic, customer tracking could help optimize the shopping experience.

Mobile payments

In third was mobile payments technology with 17.6% of the vote, a potential indication that many retailers are already comfortable with their mobile payments systems. At its most basic level, a mobile payment system should allow customers to easily link their bank accounts or credit cards to a retailer’s checkout system. Sounds easy, right?

There is no shortage of functional mobile payment systems available to consumers and retailers alike. But as more shopping goes mobile, these payment systems are increasingly likely to become a target for hackers around the world. No retailer wants to go through a hacking scandal, so it’s important to identify a mobile payment system with state-of-the-art cybersecurity capabilities and a 24/7 support team.


Geotargeting, with a 11.2% vote share, is a close cousin of customer tracking and involves delivering content or advertisements to a potential shopper based on his or her geographic location.

One commonly cited example of how geotargeting could be used is to more precisely target shoppers in large urban areas. For instance, if someone is walking within 10 blocks of an electronics store, and their purchasing history suggests they like to buy electronics, then the retailer could send the potential customer a message offering an instant discount and encouraging them to come to the store.

While some consumers may balk at receiving unsolicited advertisements from businesses, younger generations are used to a constant stream of marketing content in their daily lives and are well-equipped to filter out what they don’t want. For retailers, geotargeting offers an opportunity to optimize their sales funnel by allowing them to focus on the consumers with the highest potential conversion rates.

This is only the beginning. In a few years, mobile shopping may become so ubiquitous that many retailers may decide they no longer need any physical locations. Technology is reshaping the shopping experience every day, and these latest technologies promise to accelerate that shift.

Want to learn more about economic outlook?
Tax Diversification Helps Investors with Uncertainties of the Future
"Show Who You Are" – A Modern Path to Small Business Capital
Celebrating Small Business All Year Long

Join our newsletter

Sign up for the latest updates from TD Stories delivered to your inbox twice a week.

See you in a bit

You are now leaving our website and entering a third-party website over which we have no control.

Continue to site Return to TD Stories

Neither TD Bank US Holding Company, nor its subsidiaries or affiliates, is responsible for the content of the third-party sites hyperlinked from this page, nor do they guarantee or endorse the information, recommendations, products or services offered on third party sites.

Third-party sites may have different Privacy and Security policies than TD Bank US Holding Company. You should review the Privacy and Security policies of any third-party website before you provide personal or confidential information.