By Demandware

Kicking off the opening keynote at Shop.org on September 30, Forrester Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru highlighted the growth of online retail – Forrester forecasts US online retail sales will reach $414B by 2018.

With tremendous growth, there comes great opportunity and, to no one’s surprise, new challenges retailers will need to overcome along the way.

Here are the 3 “new” challenges Mulpuru highlighted in her opening remarks:

1. The mobile conversion conundrum

We’re seeing a slight increase in mobile conversions – on both smartphones and tablets – but they’re still lower than desktops. Are we not doing enough to change this? Or are we not leveraging mobile the right way?

2. The attribution abyss

Omni-channel shopping is great for creating a seamless customer experience, but retailers often aren’t sure where to attribute sales. As a result, many retailers opt for a last-click attribution. However, this last touch model approach introduces the idea that we may be underestimating the impact of mobile. Customers are increasingly visiting websites across multiple devices, and the final location where they make a purchase can be very different from the initial point of interaction.

3. Capacity constrained Q4

Last year, we saw the largest carriers hit their shipping capacity, which also challenged their ability to send express packages. In fact, according to Mulpuru, there was a 40% increase in the number of packages shipped in November and December, and most of them were sent over the days leading up to Christmas. During that timeframe, there were 46M packages on average, a significant delta over the average seen on other days throughout the year (a difference of about 7M!). Store fulfillment will become a big investment area, and retailers will look to omni-channel solutions that can provide provide transparency into inventory to help manage customer expectations. Check out our thoughts on why omni-channel is dictating new order management needs.

What do you think? Are these aligned to what you’re seeing?