Mobile continues to dominate the news in e-commerce trends. The use of mobile devices now exceeds the time spent using traditional devices to access online retail sites.
“Mobile is now the primary access point to online retail for most consumers,” says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore. “As a result, retailers really need to rethink how they deliver their online shopping experience.” ComScore reported to Internet Retailer that 56% of the time spent with U.S. online retail occurred on a mobile device during July 2014.
In order to really understand what’s going with mobile, it’s important to think about how visitors are interacting with your site from each type of device. Shoppers don’t use smart phones and tablets the same way, as evidenced by the Monetate Ecommerce reports and statistics on conversion rates (see the charts below).
Mobile Commerce Trends
First let’s look at overall add to cart and conversion trends across all mobile devices. There’s a steady increase in the percentage of online shoppers who are now adding items to the shopping cart as well as completing the purchase. U.S. shoppers appear to have a much higher confidence level than International users, but those numbers could also be skewed by the growing number of mobile devices in Third World countries.
Now for the really interesting statistics, let’s talk about conversion rates by device. There is an increase in over all conversion rates across all types of devices (traditional being desktop or laptop). What I find interesting is how the gap is beginning to close between the traditional and tablet devices. That would suggest that people are becoming increasingly comfortable placing an order from a tablet.
Smartphone activity converts at one third to one quarter of the rate of a traditional or tablet devices. This doesn’t mean that smartphones aren’t important to the shopping experience, it just means people use the devices in different ways. From “selfies” to “showrooming,” consumers are using smart phones to research products and share with friends on social networks before making a purchase decision. Be sure your content and the customer experience is optimized for all stages of the purchase cycle, including research.
It looks like we may have been wrong in the way we predicted how mobile devices would fit into online retail. Scott Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor Corp., summed it up in an interview with Internet Retailer by saying, “retailers need to prepare for the mobile-only customer.”
“Frankly, all of us in e-retail have been surprised at how fast mobile has ascended,” Wingo says. “Two years ago, we all envisioned a multi-device world where people would discover on the smartphone, browse on the tablet, and land back on the desktop to buy. Well, multi-device shoppers are there, but they are transitioning to much more mobile. To some extent we were wrong about multi-device usage. The largest growth area in shopping and on the web is mobile-only consumers.”
Is your business ready for the “mobile-only” customer?