While smartphones’ share of traffic to the average US retail site continues to grow, desktops remain “the cash cow,” according to Adobe Digital Insights’ “2016 Mobile Retail Report“. In fact, desktops accounted for three-quarters of the average retailers’ revenue in Q2, despite contributing just 59% of traffic.
That’s because visit conversion rates averaged 2.8 higher on desktops than on smartphones, per the report, a finding that aligns with similar research from Monetate.
The Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) report provides some interesting figures beyond visit conversion rates. In another metric demonstrating lower inclination to buy on mobile devices, the study indicates that only 16% of shopping carts turn into orders on a smartphone. The corresponding figures for tablets and desktops, meanwhile, are 22% and 26%, respectively.
In other words, 84% of smartphone carts are abandoned. (Get those cart abandonment emails mobile-optimized!)
In an accompanying survey included in the report, ADI notes that consumers tend switch to a desktop to complete a purchase primarily because they find it easier to navigate pages and in order to see a product on a bigger screen before buying. These factors also figured prominently in a recent survey from Mapp, which found that difficulty navigating sites was one of the top factors preventing consumers from making purchases on their smartphones.
Mobile apps aren’t a panacea, either. Adobe notes that, globally, 60% of shopping apps are used fewer than 10 times, while in the US the majority of US consumers use 2 or fewer shopping apps regularly. Moreover, similar frustrations – a small screen, inability to pinch and zoom to see a product image more closely – are commonly cited with regards to mobile shopping apps.
So while mobile is certainly growing as a vehicle for purchases, retailers will need to work hard to provide an optimal experience. Indeed, Adobe projects that retailers would see potential revenue growth of just 10% by the end of 2017 if current trends hold with smartphones cannibalizing desktops and tablets in traffic. By comparison, were mobile performance to mimic desktop performance, retailers could potentially see 21% growth.
One of the keys there is that smartphones aren’t necessarily contributing to more visits to US retailers. Instead, they appear to be cannibalizing visits from other devices: while smartphone visits to the average retail increased by 33% year-over-year in Q2, overall visits to the average retailer remained flat.
About the Data: The ADI report is based on an analysis of 290+ billion visits from 16,000+ mobile sites and 85+ billion app launches. Adobe measures 80% of all online transactions from top 100 US retailers, and 75% of all dollars spent online with the top 500 US retailers go through Adobe Marketing Cloud.
Adobe also surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers for the report.