Smartphones are rapidly increasing their share of online retail traffic in Europe, with a 54% year-on-year increase in visits to retail sites from smartphones in 2016, according to Adobe’s 2016 Mobile Retail Report.
Smartphones have also seen an 89% increase in revenue growth since 2015, vastly outpacing desktops and tablets at 8% and 10% respectively.
However, mobile conversions are not high enough to offset declines in desktop and tablet usage. While smartphone traffic grew evenly across Europe, overall traffic for the average retailer remained relatively flat with a 3% year-on-year increase, with tablet and desktop traffic meanwhile declining by 8% and 7% respectively. Smartphone revenue growth vastly overtook overall online retail revenue growth of 13%.
Overall, desktops are still the cash cow for retailers, driving 74% of total revenue with 58% of traffic; while smartphones drive 12% of total revenue with 27% of traffic. Across Europe, the average order value (AOV) on desktops outperformed smartphones by 25%; and the revenue-per-visit (RPV) on smartphones remains 3.4 times lower than on desktops.
The study also found that mobile shoppers, on average, are not completing as many purchase orders as desktop users. Purchase conversion rates on desktops remain 2.6x higher than on smartphones. Adobe data indicates that users are running into stumbling blocks when checking out on mobile retail sites. They point at ease of navigation (28%), the ability to see images on a bigger screen (23%), and ease of entering payment information (17%) as top motivations for switching to a desktop to complete purchases.
While many European retailers have a sizable smartphone audience, the opportunity now lies in better converting this base and offsetting declines in desktop through great, highly engaging mobile retail experiences. If these experiences do not meet the high consumer expectations around quality and personalisation from login through checkout, retailers will miss out on a critical revenue driver.
“The shopping cart is a critical page to convert shoppers, but the experience has not been optimised on mobile and it has left many users to either buy less or abandon their carts completely,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. “It will be critical for retailers to better personalise the experience so that users will be compelled to purchase more on their smartphones, while better integrating technologies such as mobile wallets to create a seamless experience within apps and browsers.”