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Mobile Traffic and Sales: Addressing The Gulf



Although eCommerce rates are demonstrating growth across both desktop and mobile, any expected rise in sales hasn’t followed suit. With this in mind, how are marketers looking to address the gulf between mobile traffic and subsequent sales? 

Recent data shows that as much as 60% of online shopping traffic comes from mobile devices, but just 40% of purchases are completed using smartphones. This gulf indicates that marketers have a stern task on their hands to develop greater levels of consumer confidence in converting on mobile. 

Although innovative applications and AMP can help to generate a seamless checkout process on mobile, the customer journey is still markedly different. In order to address this gap between desktop and mobile conversion, both marketers and retailers alike need to understand these distinctions and adapt their strategies. 

Fear-Induced Abandonment

Let’s look into what’s prompting such a disconnect between browsing and sales on mobile devices. The rise of smartphones has undoubtedly been the biggest influence on modern marketing – paving the way for individuals to make purchases at home, on the morning commute, or while out for a coffee with friends. 

(Image: SaleCycle)

Above, we can see that online sales by mobile are growing faster than any other form of purchase method since 2013. However, a sizable gap still exists between mobile purchases and that of PC browsers. 

(Image: Telemedia Online)

Here, we can see that mobile browsing is favored to that of desktop, so why isn’t this reflected in purchase percentages? Let’s investigate why sales haven’t followed suit with traffic.

Firstly, one important reason could be down to navigational limitations. When acting on interest and purchasing a product, customers could feel more comfortable navigating around a site and viewing images on a larger screen, so make the switch to desktop for a clearer view. 

Another key issue stems from the checkout process itself. The typical ‘add to cart’ rate on mobile stands at around 10.4%, while on desktop it’s 12.9%. This shows that people are beginning the checkout process at similar rates. However, mobile traffic-to-conversion rates amount to around 2.25%, while desktop comfortably doubles this ratio at 4.81%. 

Such percentages show that shoppers are abandoning their carts twice as frequently on smartphones as desktops. Although there are indicators that sales on mobile are set to increase over the coming years, it’s imperative that marketers make an effort to bolster their chances of leveraging smartphone conversions to gain an edge.

Streamline Your Checkouts

Marketers must address the lost conversions for the items added to cards that are never purchased. This action involves an anatomic review of your checkout process. 

Firstly, a key addition you can make to your checkout process is the option to checkout as a guest. Although removing the requirement of registering could lose you potential mailing list recipients, it’s vital to respect the time of your customers and allow them to buy the items they want in a swift manner. 

Here, it’s worth remembering that some customers aren’t planning on making life-changing purchases. Sometimes your visitors only want to buy a pair of socks.

(Image: Barilliance)

The chart above shows us the most common reasons behind cart abandonment. As we can see, the requirement of creating an account and complex checkout processes are among the leading reasons as to why users give up when attempting to make a purchase. Although it may seem like a big step to remove the requirement of registering for an account, it could be worth running a test of the approach to see how your business benefits from the prospect of fewer cart abandonments but also fewer mailing list signups. 

Optimizing Your Campaign for Smartphone

Arguably the most effective way of countering the gulf between traffic and sales on mobile is to add incentives for those browsing on smartphones. 

Although this approach may seem limiting, it can really help recurring customers to counter their concerns surrounding the purchasing process. Foster sales that are suited to smartphone apps or mobile-based webpages. 

(Image: Milled)

Above is an example of a mobile-only sale that’s purpose is likely focused on encouraging more downloads of ASOS’ dedicated app and emboldening more users to follow through with a purchase on their smartphones. 

This approach shouldn’t only be limited to businesses that have created an app. Some companies choose to build campaigns that only show on their mobile websites – displaying special discount codes for visitors to use while checking out. 

Opting to incentivize the checkout process means businesses can both ensure that more visitors carry out purchases on-app and mobile stores as well as helping to generate a greater level of confidence among visitors interested in following up on adding an item to their cart. 

Mobile Call-to-Actions Are Key

It’s important to ensure that your mobile pages feature a clear call-to-action for your traffic to spot. The most effective CTAs will be relevant to the content that your visitors see and should be designed to encourage them to take action on their interest. 

You CTA needs to showcase the benefits available to someone if they do follow up on their interest in specific products or services. 

The underlying message of your app or mobile page’s CTA can be adapted to fit in with your business model and intended audience. It’s worth considering tapping into visitor FOMO to encourage more decisive actions. This can be facilitated by adding time-specific phrases like ‘limited time only,’ ‘available for the first 200…,’ ‘offer ends at midnight,’ ‘don’t miss out,’ ‘while stocks last,’ and ‘act now.’

By creating a sense of urgency through your call to action, you’re helping to give the high volume of mobile browsers the chance to snap out of their passive scrolling and take action on their interest. This, in turn, helps you to leverage more purchases on mobile, but it’s key to use the right tone to fit the audience profile of the visitors you’re looking to attract. Too forceful or casual and your CTA may backfire. 

The Art of Testing New Content

It’s worth noting that many mobile devices get cheated when it comes to determining their true conversion rates. For instance, if customers use their smartphones to conduct research before switching to their desktop to complete a purchase or visiting a store, then it’s likely that the customer made the decision to convert whilst browsing on mobile. 

Unfortunately, most analytics aren’t yet sophisticated enough to track conversions from cross-platform journeys. However, it’s possible to use tracking platforms like a Google forwarding phone number or a coupon/discount code to better enable some form of tracking of where your customers actually came from.

In addition to this, analytics engines such as Google Analytics and Finteza can be utilized as tools to optimize your mobile funnels. Both engines are examples of platforms that are capable of identifying exactly where cart abandonment takes place on mobile browsers – enabling you to better investigate sticking points and adapting your approach. 

(Image: Finteza)

Whilst it may be tricky to analyze the journey of customers over multiple devices, analytics can leverage a far greater level of understanding when it comes to how users interact with mobile websites and the navigation that can occur when they enter your pages. 

With eCommerce sales on smartphones set to carry on their rise in the future, it’s vital for companies to explore how they can address the gulf between mobile traffic and sales quicker to secure their growth from a better starting point. 

The world of eCommerce is on the precipice of becoming much more mobile. In this shifting landscape, the fastest companies to adapt will be best positioned to enjoy the spoils. 



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