Mobile holiday shopping traffic surpassed desktop for the first time during 2014’s holiday season. For 2015, this shift to mobile-assisted online shopping is expected to rise even further.
But it isn’t all good news for retailers.
It’s true consumers are using their mobile devices during all steps of the holiday shopping journey, from gathering ideas to conducting product research to making the final purchase. Purchasing through a mobile device is a mindset today’s generation has adopted since information is at your fingertips and only a quick search away. They expect to find what they want the moment they want it. Apparently, however, they’re not always finding what they’re looking for.
While mobile shopping is increasing, the shopping cart abandonment rate is even more challenging. Conversion rates on mobile are about 70% lower than on desktop devices, according to recent studies. Rather than completing a purchase, consumers use their mobile phones to search for product information, read reviews and compare prices—sometimes even when they’re in a brick-and-mortar location.
Interestingly, 58% of shoppers preferred to look up information on their mobile devices while in store rather than speak to a store employee, a study from the Consumer Electronic Association showed. This sounds a lot like the shift of consumers conversing with friends and family through social media and text messaging rather than face-to-face or even call-to-call communication.
And while mobile apps are excelling at gaining customer loyalty, the web remains the main driver for mobile traffic and revenue. Approximately 54% of the time spent using digital media is with apps, but 95% of shopping traffic still comes from retail websites.
What does this all mean to retailers? With consumer concerns about price, speed and overall experience—rather than loyalty—driving where they buy their products, optimizing the online purchase experience (and driving them to the path to conversion) is more critical than ever. Sales—and the future of brick-and-mortar and online-only businesses alike—depend on it.