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monetate-global-e-commerce-traffic-share-by-device-nov2016Smartphones and tablets together accounted for 52% of e-commerce website visits globally in Q3, topping desktops (48%) for the first time. That’s according to the newest Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly Report [download page], which notes that as recently as Q1 2012, desktops accounted for virtually all (94% of) e-commerce traffic.

There are big differences between smartphones and tablets, though, as detailed in the report. Indeed, while tablets’ share of global e-commerce site traffic seems to have plateaued, ranging from 12-16%, the share of website visits coming from smartphones has grown almost every quarter for the past 5-and-a-half years.

As detailed in several Monetate reports and in this study from Adobe Digital Insights, the rapid upward trajectory of smartphone traffic share isn’t necessarily a boon for online retailers, as conversion rates continue to be far lower on smartphones than on tablets and desktops. Encouragingly, though, Monetate reveals that increases in average order value on smartphones have outpaced corresponding growth on tablets and desktops over the past few quarters, indicating more comfort with purchasing big-ticket items on the smaller screens.

To increase mobile e-commerce performance, Monetate suggests taking a closer look at how shoppers use devices at various times of the day. On this front, the company found that mobile conversion rates peak in the primetime hours, between 7PM and 10PM (standardized to shoppers’ local times). Likewise, mobile session lengths are higher during this period than the average session, particularly at 8PM and 9PM, when they’re 14% and 16% longer than average, respectively. When comparing weekdays to weekends, Monetate reveals that:

  • All devices have more page views and longer time on site on the weekend;
  • Desktop performance tops mobile in almost all metrics (such as cart abandonment, page views, revenue per session) during the week; while
  • Smartphones and tablets tend to have better performance on the weekends.

With regards to mobile shopping on the weekend, the data reveals that mobile average order values (AOVs) are 3.5% higher on the weekends than on weekdays, with the highest AOVs observed on Sundays.

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