Mobile accounts for 65% of all ecommerce traffic - so why are mobile sales still lagging?

Photo by Hipster Mum on Unsplash.

The majority of traffic for retail websites now comes from smartphones, though there still remains a gap between mobile traffic and sales.

According to data from our 2019 Ecommerce Year in Review infographic, 63% of traffic to retailers and 53% of sales happen via mobile.

Looking at the mobile and desktop performance data, the performance of fashion retailers stands out from the other sectors.

These sites have more smartphone traffic than any others (75%) and a greater proportion of sales from mobile devices (67%). Fashion retailers also convert a higher percentage of mobile traffic into sales (89.3%).

Many fashion retailers have seen the growth of smartphone ownership and usage change the way shoppers access their site. Here’s an example from Schuh, where mobile use has grown rapidly over the last decade, overtaking desktop back in 2014, and now accounting for the vast majority of traffic.

This audience shift to mobile has forces mobile retailers to adapt, often taking a ‘mobile-first’ approach to website design, ensuring that the user experience for smartphone visitors is as good as possible.

A focus on key UX factors like easy navigation on mobile, clear product images and copy, and simplified checkout helps to attract and convert mobile visitors.

By contrast, travel sites face a greater challenge on mobile. The fashion product selection and payment process is relatively simple compared to that of many travel sites, where people need to choose various options, from flight times to hotels, and enter plenty of detail.

For this reason, while 53% of traffic to travel sites comes from smartphones, just 29% of sales take place on mobile. This suggests that, for more complex purchases like travel bookings, people find it much easier on larger desktop screens.

Though mobile commerce has been growing for some years, the gap between mobile traffic and sales suggests that many retailers and websites still need to work on their mobile user experience.

Graham Charlton, editor-in-chief at SaleCycle.

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