mobile visit-to-conversion optimization

In eCommerce, converting mobile traffic into consistent revenue has been an elusive problem for some time. However, recent data shows that the mobile visit-to-conversion gap is shrinking. Due to changes in how customers use their smartphones and in conjunction with the decline in desktop use, the mobile visit-to-conversion gap continues to improve. Now is the time for merchants to focus their attention on mobile optimization to capitalize on the growing mobile conversion trend.

What Merchants Need to Know About the Shrinking Mobile Visit-to-Conversion Gap

How Customers Use their Smartphones is Changing Fast

Since the introduction of smartphones to the mass public around a decade ago, every year since has brought a litany of disruptive new functionality and usage dynamics. In the last few years, however, it’s been less about massive shifts in hardware and more about the changes in overall user behavior that go hand-in-hand with the rise of smartphones as commodity devices.

Smartphones are more accessible than ever before and the user base is larger than ever. The average smartphone user today generally trends towards the average customer. In other words, most people have a smartphone. Even those with an older model have a device that functions well for mobile shopping. In addition, not only do the majority of customers own a smartphone, they are on them a lot. The average smartphone user spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their device every day!

How customers are using their mobile devices has shifted. A few years ago, customers were using their mobile devices to perform research on products and were abandoning carts to make purchases on their computers at a later time. Today, however, data shows that mobile visits continue to trend up (+89.4% since 2015), while desktop visits are past their peak (-16% since 2015).

With so many customers shopping on smartphones and using desktops less, the mobile visit-to-revenue gap is shrinking.

Mobile Conversions Are on The Rise

Mobile conversions continue to rise. In fact, Amazon saw a 70% increase in year-over-year mobile checkouts during the 2017 holiday shopping season. Google is finding similar results. According to the Google Shopping Benchmarks Report by Sidecar, “Mobile’s share of revenue increased 19%, accounting for 36% of total revenue in 2017.” Similar results were found by Adobe Digital Insights as well. According to Adobe Analytics, smartphone traffic is increasing in value at a quicker pace than desktop. Further, In the past three years, smartphone traffic has closed the value gap to desktops by 10%.

It’s clear the direction mobile user behavior is heading for eCommerce. Not just an increase in mobile traffic but a significant increase in mobile conversions.

While desktop traffic and conversions continue to decrease, mobile acquisition represents a space where customers are engaging more often than they did previously. This opens a significant opportunity for merchants to re-focus their path-to-purchase customer experience on mobile.

An issue for many though is that mobile traffic still represents fewer converted sales than with desktop customers. However, merchants do not need to be Amazon to experience the new uptick in mobile conversion growth. The key to attaining an increase in mobile conversions is to understand current performance at a granular level while focusing on growth opportunities in customer experience on mobile.  

Best Practices for Mobile Conversion Optimization

In order to harness the power of the shrinking mobile visit-to-conversion gap, there are a few areas that eCommerce merchants can target for mobile conversion optimization.

Ensure that content loads fast.

It’s conventional wisdom at this point that mobile shoppers respond better to bite-sized content. But as high-performance smartphones have become the standard, customers have increasingly low tolerance for slow load times. If a website is loading at 3 seconds or more, customers are likely to swipe away. Time is of the essence for mobile browsing and mobile conversions. So, if the mobile version of your site loads slowly, you may want to do something about it. You’re likely losing customers.

Prepare for 5G before it deploys.

5G mobile internet access is preparing for imminent rollout. The level of service is predicted to be so strong that many users are expected to use mobile as their primary form of internet access. This will undoubtedly shrink the mobile visit-to-conversion gap further while customers continue to shy away from desktop. For eCommerce, estimates state that 5G and improved connectivity could mean an additional $12 billion in revenue per year for retailers by 2021. Merchants should prepare for mobile to be the primary traffic source in the next few years by ensuring that your site is truly optimized for mobile shopping and conversions.

Streamline the Mobile Customer Experience

Explore every opportunity for improvement when analyzing customer experience on mobile. Look for steps in the shopping process that can be eliminated or improved. In other words, look for ways to eliminate the amount of clicks from start to finish.

For example, analyze the navigation, ensure the structure is clean and user-friendly. Are the Call To Action (CTA) buttons clear and easily identifiable on product pages? Take a look at the checkout process. Can customers check out as guests? Is a one-page checkout enabled? Are there mobile payment options available?  Are one-click order options enabled for returning customers? Amazon can likely credit a portion of their increase in mobile conversions to their one-click purchase feature.

Mobile users are becoming less tolerant over time with laborious checkout experiences, even if the content is formatted for mobile. Look for opportunities to streamline the checkout and shopping experience.

These are just a few reasons why the mobile visit-to-conversion gap is shrinking and how merchants can optimize for mobile. Of course, there is always more to mobile optimization, and every website has a unique set of needs. Contact us to learn more about optimizing for mobile and how to get ahead in the mobile-driven world.