From payment to social to mobile and everything in between, each day seems to bring a promising new commerce tool that could be the next big thing. But looking at data from over 200 million global shoppers, we see that an old standby has become a shopper’s trusted companion, and the thing that helps merchants more effectively engage with consumers: the shopping basket.

In the days of evolving metrics, basket rate is up 5% globally, gaining in each of the 5 countries tracked by the Demandware Shopping Index. Twenty-seven percent more baskets were created this year than last, and 74% of those new carts are being created on phones.

So why is the basket so hot these days? Thanks to the rise of mobile shopping, the cart is now available to the shopper at any time – it is THE omni-channel shopping utility. Whether at home, at work, on a train, standing in line, or even walking into a store, your cart is in your pocket or purse. The cart is the de facto shopping list for today’s shopper.

And with mobile metrics showing very strong growth, it is clear that mobile shoppers are more intent on actually shopping on their phones, as basket-creation rate on phones is up 15%. Year over year, shoppers created 99% more baskets on phones, which is leading to the massive order share increase on phones.

So, what should retailer do to make the most of the basket and leverage basket portability?

Persist that basket: Shoppers are adding items to buy and/or to save. We expect if we put something into the cart, we can go back to it later. The absolute worst thing a retailer can do is clear a customer’s cart, instead of maintaining the cart for them. Worried that an item will go out of stock? Great! Show the shopper it is out of stock. That way, there is a sense of urgency (FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out in current parlance) for the shopper to buy. Don’t create friction in the shopping process by removing the items that a shopper has carefully curated into their cart. Chances are they won’t return to add them back.

Cross devices: One of the great challenges facing retailers today is how to recognize shoppers across devices. The basket makes this easier. Once an item is added to a cart, and abandoned, you have the opportunity to email the item to your shopper. With over 50% of emails opened on phones, a cart started on a tablet or computer can be viewed on a phone. Take advantage of cross-device shoppers, which have increased consistently 10% YoY in each quarter we have monitored, by making the basket available to them anywhere.

Show them you know them. Personalize: A cart containing products is a clear signal of shopping interest, and with 11% more baskets created this year per shopper, that is a LOT of interest. Use the information you gather from their cart activity, whether that activity happened today or last year, to personalize the shopping experience and drive higher Average Order Value and conversion. How personal can you get and how little data do you need? Watch this video about how predictive intelligence makes the shopping experience more relevant with personalization.

For those looking for the next big thing, look no further than the shopper’s trusted companion – the shopping cart.

About the Shopping Index

This comprehensive report analyzes activity of over 200 million shoppers worldwide to identify trends and opportunities for retailers to elevate the shopper experience and grow revenue. The Demandware Shopping Index measures the pace of digital shopping growth, assigning a numerical value to crucial shopper metrics. The Shopping Index is not indicative of Demandware’s operational performance or its reported financial metrics including GMV growth and comparable GMV growth.