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How shoppers’ online behaviour is changing: analysis

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Shoppers were more likely to search on mobile than on desktop for the first time in the first quarter of 2017, according to new Salesforce data.

In the UK, some 35% of revenue over that period of time came from site search, Salesforce’s Q1 2017 Shopping Index found. At the same time, revenue from digital commerce grew by 8%.

The study, which analyses the shopping activity of more than 500m shoppers across 27 countries, found that during the quarter 53% of traffic and 32% of orders came via mobile devices. Overall orders grew by 10%, with smartphone orders up by 33% and desktop orders by 2%, but tablet orders down by 3%.

Meanwhile, overall traffic grew by 6%, with smartphone traffic up by 23%, tablet traffic down by 15% and computer traffic down by 6%. At the same time, conversion rates and average order values both grew by 3%, with the result that shopper spending grew faster than traffic growth to drive overall digital commerce growth by 12%.

Jamie Merrick, director of industry insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud , said: “A couple years ago, if you were browsing Facebook on your phone and saw a jumper you wanted to buy, you had to wait until you got to your computer to log on and purchase it. However, now, with the evolution of mobile, we can easily search on-the-go and make a purchase instantly.

“In fact, our latest Shopping Index shows that for the first time, search functions used on phones surpassed search functions on computers in Q1 2017. And in the UK, site search resulted in 35% of revenue, the highest rate globally.

“Given that the conversion rate of a shopper who has used a search function is three times higher than non-search traffic, this has a huge impact on UK retailers’ approach to commerce. Having a mobile-first approach is key to ensuring shoppers have a seamless and easy mobile experience so that retailers don’t miss out on revenue growth. Furthermore, this trend in mobile search also highlights the importance of unified commerce across all channels – if a customer shops in-store, browses online or purchases on mobile, the experience should be consistent and as pleasurable for the customer as possible.”

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