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!