Mobile Safari (15.11%) and its desktop counterpart (13.65%) combined to account for 28.76% of traffic to e-commerce websites in Q2 2012, according to [download page] an August report from Monetate, which analyzed a random sample of more than 100 million online shopping experiences, using same-store data. This put Safari behind only Internet Explorer (37.5%) in browser market share for the quarter. Google Chrome accounted for 17.15% of traffic share in Q2, ahead of Firefox, at 15.8%. All other browsers collectively held the remaining 0.79% share.
Chrome’s E-Commerce Traffic Share Lags Total US Market Share
StatCounter figures show Internet Explorer ranging between 38.35% and 41.45% share of the total US browser market in Q2, roughly commensurate with the browser’s share of e-commerce traffic. Google Chrome ranged between 22.2% and 23.66% share during that time, above its e-commerce traffic share, while Firefox’s market share ranged between 20.62% and 22.41%, also above its e-commerce traffic share.
The StatCounter figures have Safari 4th at a range of 12.89% to 13.51%, but do not indicate whether this relates to the desktop or mobile version, or both.
Safari Rivals Explorer Outside Work Hours
Meanwhile, data from Monetate’s “Ecommerce Quarterly EQ2 2012” indicates that outside of work hours – when shoppers have their choice of browsers – Explorer’s role lessens as Safari’s role becomes more prominent, with Safari holding 31.41% share of all e-commerce business traffic share between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM, in a virtual dead heat with Explorer (31.42%). Google Chrome (19.82%) and Firefox (16.41%) both also saw higher market share outside of the enterprise during Q2, with other browsers accounting for 0.93% share. During the evening hours (6 PM-12 AM), Safari actually took a miniscule lead over Explorer (31.8% vs. 31.71%). Safari’s market share during those hours was split evenly between the mobile and desktop versions.
The importance of ensuring that an e-commerce website functions properly on any given browser is highlighted by February 2012 survey results from Compuware, which found that 22% of respondents said it would only take a single poor experience (slow website response, web error, or inability to complete a transaction) from an e-commerce website at peak times for them to leave the website and shop elsewhere.
Explorer Share of Traffic Declining; Mobile Safari Gains Steam
Further data from the Monetate report shows that the gap in e-commerce traffic share between Internet Explorer and Safari has been steadily closing over the past 5 quarters, largely as a result of Explorer’s declining market share and Mobile Safari’s continuing gains. Indeed, in Q2 2011, Explorer held a near-majority of the market (49.37%), 29.64% points higher than Safari (mobile and desktop combined; 19.73%). By Q2 2012, though, Explorer’s share dropped by almost 12% points as Mobile Safari’s share grew by close to 9% points, leaving the gap at 8.74% points.
Desktop Safari showed some growth between Q2 2011 (13.3%) and Q1 2012 (14.81%), before dropping back to 13.65% in Q2. Overall, Safari (mobile and desktop combined) has seen its share of e-commerce traffic grow by 9.04% in the past year.