Smartphone Share of E-Commerce Visits Grows, but Conversion Rates Still Lag Other Devices

September 27, 2016

monetate-e-commerce-conversion-rate-by-device-q2-sept2016Smartphones and tablets grew to account for almost half (49%) of global e-commerce site visits in Q2 2016, per a quarterly Monetate analysis [download page] of its clients. In the US, mobile devices reached roughly 48% share of site visits, while in the UK – where mobile recently surpassed 50% of retail e-commerce transactions – these devices grew to almost two-thirds of e-commerce site visits.

While smartphones far outpace tablets in e-commerce site traffic, they are well behind in conversion rates, suggesting that they continue to be used more for product research than for purchases. Indeed, Forrester Research data indicates that 47% of smartphone-owning adults in the US research products on their devices on at least a weekly device, with fewer (29%) reporting actually making purchases with that frequency.

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For the e-commerce clients analyzed in Monetate’s E-Commerce Quarterly for Q2, conversion rates averaged 1.48% globally on smartphones, less than half the rate for tablets (3.46%) and computers (3.99%). Conversion rates hewed close to the global average in the US (1.34% for smartphones; 3.42% for tablets; and 4.11% for computers), but were considerably higher in the UK (2.8% for smartphones; 4.36% for tablets; and 5.8% for computers). E-commerce tends to hold a higher share of the retail market in the UK than in the US, according to research from RetailMeNot.

These device patterns tended to stay consistent across add-to-cart rates and page views, with computers edging tablets, and smartphones further behind. There was a bigger gulf between computers and mobile devices in order values, which averaged $138.87 for traditional devices compared to $98.70 for tablets and $82.65 for smartphones.

It’s worth noting that average order values in the UK were considerably lower than in the US across all devices.

Finally, in terms of traffic sources, average order values were highest for direct traffic ($123.79), followed by search ($116.53) and email ($111.85), with social further back ($88.92).

About the Data: The Monetate EQ analyzes a random sample of more than 7 billion online shopping experiences using “same store” data across each calendar quarter. Averages throughout the EQ are calculated across the entire sample. Key performance indicators, such as average order value and conversion rate, vary by industry and market type. These averages are published only to support the analysis in each release of the EQ, and are not intended to be benchmarks for any e-commerce business.

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