Email Said to be the Traffic Source For A Majority of Smartphone Conversions

January 16, 2014

SeeWhy-E-Commerce-Conversions-on-Smartphones-by-Traffic-Source-Jan2014Email may account for upwards of 60% of smartphone conversions, according to new data released by the SeeWhy Conversion Academy. The analysis of more than 150 million web events in December indicates that 62% of smartphone conversions came from an email, compared to 21% that came from a link to the site and 12% that were direct visits. The analysts admit that the 5% share attributed to search may be understated due to Google’s “obfuscation” of search terms.

Whatever the exact number, the large share attributed to email is the result of two main factors, per the researchers:

The second point in particular is very interesting. The analysts’ data indicates that for every 100 visitors arriving at an e-commerce site via a smartphone, just 8 will add a product to a shopping cart. That compares unfavorably to 11 each for desktops and tablets, and is likely a result of more difficulty in searching and selecting products on the smaller smartphone screen. Clicking on a link in an email (particularly a remarketing email) removes the need for on-site search.

Of course, cart abandonment rates are still much higher on smartphones (94%) than on tablets (81%) and desktops (76%), per the data. But if checkout processes can be improved, the researchers see the potential for mobile to be used “as a critical conversion device,” whereby mobile conversions are less the result of browsing and instead the result of a last step when the product selection had already been made but simply not finished.

The analysts offer 4 recommendations to fuel further smartphone conversions:

  • “Trigger Browse and Cart remarketing emails when users abandon;”
  • “Checkout optimizations: shorter checkout processes for mobile customers;”
  • “Storing payment, billing and shipping details;” and
  • “Alternative payment checkouts for new customers.”
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