Almost one-third of e-commerce transactions made during Q4 2016 used 2 or more devices from the first website visit to purchase, reports Criteo [download page], which analyzed more than 3,300 global online retail businesses. Regardless of the device that was used to complete a purchase, roughly one-third of transactions involved two or more devices.
The incidence of multiple device use was broadest when transactions were completed on tablets (36%), followed by desktops (31%) and smartphones (28%).
Tablets were the least popular device to start searches, with only 10% of transactions using them at the onset. One-third relied on smartphones (31%) as initial touch points, while the majority started out on a desktop (59%).
Although slightly more people used desktops to begin browsing and desktops are typically the devices most used to complete a transaction, computers and smartphones seem somewhat interchangeable in e-commerce. Indeed, one-quarter of cross–device desktop transactions started on a smartphone and 35% of cross-device smartphone transactions started on a desktop. That suggests that the oft-cited notion that smartphones are for research, desktops for purchases, could be changing.
Separately, to illustrate the significance of tracking the right metrics, the study measured conversion rates in 12 countries, which revealed a range of 1.3 to 1.9 times higher conversion rates when adopting a user-centric view over a device-centric view. The US, specifically, had a conversion rate that was 1.4 times higher with a user-centric view (9% user-centric vs. 6% device-centric).
About the Data: Criteo analyzes more than 3,300 global online retail businesses and 1.7 billion transactions per year across desktop and mobile sites, amounting to $720 billion in annual sales.