Tech analysts predicted that mobile Internet usage would overtake desktop usage by 2014. We’re well past that tipping point now as shown in a July 2015 study.
This study’s year to-date data shows a consolidation with mobile digital media time in the United States significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop usage at 42%.
What does this mean for your eCommerce business? In the simplest turns, if you’re not reaching your audience effectively on their smartphones and providing a good user experience, you’ll miss out on business.
A Shopify study shows us that mobile traffic to eCommerce sites is at more than 50%, while desktop traffic to eCommerce sites sits just below mobile traffic. Shopify says mobile traffic is now the “default” way people shop eCommerce stores.
Let’s explore eCommerce industry stats for mobile and mobile marketing. We’ll review studies and make a case for the importance of a mobile-friendly eCommerce site.
Why the Rise in Mobile Traffic to eCommerce Sites?
Social media is driving eCommerce site visits. The same Shopify study notes that when Facebook users are using their computers, 5% of them click through to eCommerce sites, while the number jumps to 7% when Facebook users are on their phones.
On the search side, Google searches represented 18% of eCommerce traffic from computers, but just 12% from mobile phones. Their study deduced that search is used when customers are looking for something specific, while Facebook users on smartphones are clicking for the spontaneous purchase.
According to Susan Wu of Forrester Research, Inc, “Mobile is far outpacing the growth of e-commerce as a whole. It’s growing faster than e-commerce in the ‘90s when online shopping was just taking off.”
The Importance of Social Media
Discovery-based shopping is the trend of shopping from mobile phones and tablets. Social media drives a large amount of traffic to eCommerce sites, and social media advertising is worth exploring.
According to a study by Custora, mobile traffic to e-commerce sites has increased from 3% to nearly 37% in the last four years. Though the mobile conversion rate is only at 1.4%, mobile has become an essential part of the overall shopping experience, and the gap between traffic and conversion continues to shrink.
Always on Shopping
This is a new trend in shopping coined by Shopify. It refers to the degree that consumers are always on.
It’s due almost entirely to social media and mobile shopping. In previous years, desktop traffic to eCommerce sites was highest between Monday and Friday. Mobile shopping tends to increase on the weekends. In the end, you have “always-on” shopping.
When you factor in computer, mobile and tablet shopping, consumers are “always” shopping. It’s no longer certain days or even certain hours that consumers are shopping. They are making purchases 24 hours a day, seven days a week, largely through their mobile devices.
Nite Owls are Buying
An interesting report studied shopping times, specifically late into the night and early morning hours.
The study found that due to the rise in mobile shopping, more consumers are making purchases in the wee hours of the night. The report notes increases in sales between the hours of midnight and 6 am – up more than 30% from the previous year.
Adexchanger.com says mobile users click on ads more than twice as much as desktop users, and most online retailers see nearly 50% of their traffic coming from mobile, So, why is the conversion rate higher for desktop?
While consumers are doing a lot of their shopping and discovery on their smartphones, the majority of purchases still happen using computers. Why? It’s simple. Entering credit card details and personal information on a small screen is difficult. Consumers also worry about privacy more on their smartphones than their desktops.
Users also switch between devices, but they almost always return to the computer to complete the purchase.
Websites Vs. Apps
Now that we’ve discussed eCommerce websites on the smartphone, let’s look at the stats between eCommerce mobile websites and apps.
With mobile commerce on the rise, a debate has started regarding whether retailers should concentrate on optimizing their website for mobile or create a downloadable app.
While responsive design is essential to any etailer, a downloadable app can enhance your business based on your target audience and product offerings. How do you decide?
The most significant advantage that mobile apps offer is the ability to communicate and personally engage with the customer. Plus, research suggests consumers do enjoy using mobile apps.
Yet, the mobile website is integral to the consumer’s shopping process. Kissmetrics says two out of three customers prefer accessing a mobile website than a mobile app. Users don’t want the barrier of an app. They also don’t want to have to stop shopping to download an app.
What consumers really want is a good deal. They will usually only download your app if they perceive there is a value in it.
While an app is good for the eCommerce retailer, they aren’t always profitable for the consumer. Your best bet is to provide a more app-like atmosphere, great navigation and a coupon on your mobile site. It’s got to be easy for the consumer.
Perhaps the most glaring conclusion is that eCommerce companies must optimize their sites for mobile. It’s no longer an “if I’ll get to it,” but an absolute necessity.
It’s vital to provide customers a superb shopping experience whether it’s on desktop, tablet or mobile. Due to the “always-on” phenomena, mobile shopping is increasingly important.
If your eCommerce site does not optimize for mobile, you’ll cater to a shrinking group of people who are only shopping on their computers. Of noted importance is mobile testing. With Androids and iPhone usage skyrocketing, testing on as many devices as possible is critical.
Cater to all your customers, 24/7 and on as many devices as possible, and you’ll see your conversion rates increase!
Now that we’ve looked at eCommerce industry stats for mobile and mobile marketing, would you like some assistance in fine-tuning your mobile site and increasing conversions? We’re here to help. What’s more, we guarantee your results. Contact us today. We’d love to talk with you about optimizing your mobile eCommerce site for better outcomes.
Image: Jason Howie