Many interpreting the past holiday season is imminent indicator of brick and mortar store demise. In some ways, that's true. Brick and motar giants are feeling the crunch. They are increasingly unable to compete with competitive pricing of online shops. The old physical advantages have been battered by online superiority and one day shipping options.

Some bright spots still remain. Customers of apparel industries require to try on and interact with products before buying, no easy policy or intelligence platform can ever change that. More and more brands embrace in store and online experience to fit concerge services. The combination of multiple market innovations digitize experience like where your mother shopped.

While it seems the last five years has been "the year of mobile", in 2015 the volumes started to live up to the hype. 36% of all black friday purchases were mobile sales. The mobile significance forces driving consumer transaction on mobile devices as following.

Big screens

Another handset screen has given more creative freedom in more visable content without sacrificing usability on such devices

Higher bandwith

for North Americans, 4G bandwidth rapidly becomes accessible. Combined, the web acceleration like frontend optimization and new mobile web technologies like SPA's now rival performance of desktops.

HTML forms die

An obsession for mobile experiences led developers to rest on HTML controls. These venerable controles are well but there is a simply better method to enable frictionless navigation used vector graphics and icons.

Checkout and payment frictions dissipate

Online retailers simplify checkout process from social authentication on mobile, Google maps power autocomplete and removal of all. Combined with mobile checkout is Paypal onetouch and apple pay to make it easier on mobile purchase ever.

Historically, developers approached responsive design to make the desktop experience accessible across mobile devices. In 2016 and next two years, we will see "mobile first" and "usable" no longer cuts in. This obsession will make the mobile experience the de facto point. The responsive web design will then be used to create "usable" experience on desktops.

Social Sales

Retailers capitalize customer engagement on social media since customers embrace mobile. We will see social media the starting point for retailers. This means greater investment in technologies like pinterest's buyable pins. Early adopter will be rewarded and hastile those find themselves put together a social content strategy.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality holds a promise beyond a new ski goggle fashion craze. Branded manufacturers will tap virtual reality for product discovery and real world experience. While not all invest in Oculous Rift, the more accessible reality technology like Samsung gear headset will make virtual product discovery rewarding and valuable.

The automotive industry is a great example requiring multiple test drives, car manufacturers like Volvo are using VR mobile apps to allow buyers virtual test drives.

Keeping pace with customer expectation

2016 will undoubtedly bring a sea change from mobile paradigm to virtual reality experimentation. We need to check any schadenfreude for good. At present pace of technology, the next disruption could be closer than thoughts. Customer expectation shall wait for no one.