Remember back in 2011 and 2012 when every marketing person was predicting the ‘year of mobile’? Don’t worry, Google remembers everything.
The graph below shows us how the search term ‘mobile marketing’ has been trending over the last 10 years (source: Google Trends):
Although the buzz around mobile has become noticeably quieter since its peak in 2011, the trend has remained the same, mobile is taking over big time.
The following graph by ComScore shows us that the number of worldwide mobile users finally overtook the amount of desktop users in 2014:
And even though traffic to most websites is still dominated by desktop visitors, analytics data is showing an increasing number of mobile visitors with each passing month. And here lies the issue for many e-commerce retailers, mobile traffic just doesn’t seem to convert.
However, this is only one side of the story!
The in-device view fallacy It is true that if we solely look at mobile traffic data and the conversions thereof, we will be disappointed to find out that conversion rates on mobile are considerably lower than on desktop or tablet. A high share of mobile traffic, therefore, doesn’t result in an equally high share of mobile conversions – or at least this is how it seems if we look at each device separately.
However, if we take a more integrated analysis approach we will see a whole different picture. This is something that Ben Knight has already covered in detail in his Cool Search Tactics blog series, part 4.
How has mobile changed purchasing behaviour?
To understand the impact of mobile better, Google has provided us with compelling insights on how mobile has changed the way users convert on different devices. Upon seeing this data, Croud has conducted similar research on some of their retail clients, only to find the same results.
The results below show us that, despite a growth in mobile session share, the share of mobile conversions has remained rather static:
However, at the same time desktop conversion rate has increased, as shown in the graph below:
And over the last two years, desktop visitors have been browsing through fewer pages per session before converting:
Due to pre-conversion activity on mobile devices, visitors are already well-informed and ready to convert when re-visiting a website on their desktop devices.
Mobile might not be the device on which users prefer to purchase, but this doesn’t mean that mobile can be neglected. Users tend to use mobile devices for researching products, making it a crucial part of the purchasing process.
In a recent study, Google has found that a spike in mobile sessions tends to occur during the morning hours, shortly before conversions peak throughout the day, as can be clearly seen in the graph below:
And indeed, mobile has been found to be a major starting point for many online activities, including shopping:
What does this mean for marketers?
- Don’t underestimate the impact of mobile users on your site and your conversion rates
- Look at your web analytics data and find out how mobile has affected visitor behaviour across devices
- Make sure that users are able to find your website when they perform pre-conversion research on their mobile devices
- Create a mobile experience that assists cross-device purchasing
Talking about ‘mobile marketing’ might not be cool anymore, but this doesn’t change the fact that it is crucial to get it right. For help with your mobile marketing, contact the team at Croud today; we’ll get you on the right track.