Mobile Growth, a Business Risk?

Mobile Marketing

Adobe Dig­i­tal Insights recent­ly released its “Mobile Retail Report 2016” study, com­par­ing the evo­lu­tion of mobile traf­fic and rev­enue over the years with desk­top traf­fic and rev­enue.

300+ bil­lion vis­its from 16,000+ sites and 90+ bil­lion app launch­es have been analysed, pro­vid­ing us with a clear and com­pre­hen­sive view of traf­fic and con­sumer behav­iour across the main e‑commerce sites and appli­ca­tions in Europe and the US.

In terms of traf­fic, three lessons emerged from the study:

  • Mobile traf­fic con­tin­ues to increase, with vis­its increas­ing by 54 per­cent com­pared to 2015.
  • Desk­top traf­fic remains dom­i­nant, but has decreased by 7 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.
  • Tablet traf­fic has dropped strong­ly in favour of smart­phones.

Mobile is there­fore in the process of can­ni­bal­is­ing traf­fic on desk­top, and is even expect­ed to exceed it in ear­ly 2018.

Large gap between traf­fic and mobile con­ver­sion

Despite the growth of mobile traf­fic, the smart­phone con­ver­sion rate is strug­gling to take off. The ADI study reveals that desk­top com­put­ers receive 58 per­cent of total e‑commerce traf­fic, account­ing for 74 per­cent of rev­enue, while mobile receives 27 per­cent of traf­fic, account­ing for 12 per­cent of rev­enue. The con­ver­sion rate on desk­top is thus 2.9 per­cent, com­pared to 1.1 per­cent on mobile. Shop­ping bas­ket con­ver­sion in the fig­ures fol­low the same log­ic: in the US alone, 26 per­cent of shop­ping carts are con­vert­ed on desk­top, where­as only 16 per­cent are con­vert­ed on mobile phones.

There is unde­ni­ably a sig­nif­i­cant gap between traf­fic and mobile con­ver­sions, which could lead to a short­fall of 11 per­cent by Christ­mas 2017 in the US. The study shows that if the cur­rent trend con­tin­ues, rev­enue growth will be 10 per­cent in 2017, while if the mobile con­ver­sion fig­ures were to match those for desk­top, this growth could reach 21 per­cent! Now more than ever, it is para­mount for brands to improve their mobile con­ver­sion rates.

Brands must make mobile con­ver­sion a pri­or­i­ty

So, what to do? It is crit­i­cal to recog­nise that mobile is an essen­tial ele­ment of the online shop­ping expe­ri­ence, but there are bar­ri­ers to buy­ing on mobile that need to be over­come. These include:

  • Small screen size, which can make it dif­fi­cult to view the prod­uct prop­er­ly
  • Intru­sive adver­tis­ing, which can result in the inabil­i­ty to click “Exit” on a ban­ner when users just want to close it to access the con­tent
  • Bad­ly opti­mised appli­ca­tions, with long load­ing times or for­got­ten bugs
  • Poor­ly adapt­ed nav­i­ga­tion, which is con­ceived with prod­ucts in mind and not con­sumers.

I’ve said it again and again, but it is essen­tial for brands to strive to offer a real, inter­est­ing, and enjoy­able expe­ri­ence. We are now mov­ing more and more toward “mobile first” (or even “mobile only”), and it is like­ly that we will only use our smart­phones in the near future.

This is like­ly to cre­ate a real eco­nom­ic prob­lem if we can’t quick­ly find a way to boost these con­ver­sion rates, which are cur­rent­ly 2.5 times low­er on mobile. The oth­er option is to imag­ine that mobile isn’t used for pur­chase, but only as a step in a path toward phys­i­cal pur­chase.

We must there­fore also ques­tion the role of mobile devices: are they pri­mar­i­ly objects for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and inter­ac­tion, more than for pur­chas­ing? Are they tools for engage­ment and loy­al­ty, but not for direct con­ver­sion?

This need to con­vert on mobile is a major prob­lem for our cus­tomers, and one of the most crit­i­cal strate­gic issues today. The answers are not sim­ple, but adapt­ing expe­ri­ences to clients’ prac­tices, account­ing for their behav­iours, and reg­u­lat­ing cer­tain prac­tices (espe­cial­ly adver­tis­ing), is a good start!

What about you, what do you think about this mobile con­ver­sion issue? Do not hes­i­tate to give your opin­ion with­in the com­ments!


Mobile Marketing
Olivier Binisti

Posted on 12-06-2016


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