Much attention these days is on omnichannel support, where sellers can offer their products and services online or in their shops, and customers—businesses or consumers—may either buy or pick up orders in stores or have purchases delivered to homes or offices. Much of this trend is driven by the ability to use smartphones and tablets to shop online anywhere, and at any time.
But while mobile devices are capturing an increasing share of merchant site traffic, online sale-conversion rates remain much lower on smartphones and tablets than on traditional PC and laptop computers, recent research has found. And this suggests sellers’ omnichannel efforts should remain broad and not focused on any specific device, according to ShopVisible’s report “Influence & Impact—eCommerce Benchmarking Report 2014 (Q1, Q2)."
ShopVisible conducted its own research, pulling data from clients on its platform, including 70 business-to-consumer and business-to-business online sellers, a spokesperson for the company tells PMNTS.com.
In separate research released last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported that eCommerce retail sales during the second quarter this year reached $75 billion, up 15.7 percent from $64.8 billion a year earlier. The bank defines eCommerce retail sales as the sale of goods and services where the buyer places an order, or the price and terms of the sale are negotiated over an Electronic Data Interchange, the Internet, or any other online system. Payment may or may not be made online.
During the first half of the year, ShopVisible’s research shows, mobile devices captured 38 percent of all online seller site traffic among the researched companies, who also experienced an 18 percent overall increase in online revenue, with a 42 percent year-over-year revenue increase alone in the month of June, according to the report.
Online sellers’ order volume during the quarter grew by 3 percent, with the average order increasing by 24 percent, to $141. However, just 6 percent of online orders were from smartphones, while 13 percent were from tablets, leaving the vast majority being done from PCs. The average order value on mobile devices also was 28 percent lower than on desktop PCs, the research found.
Data-driven merchandising and site-optimization techniques drove a 20 percent increase in total items sold and an 11 percent increase in number of items per transaction, the report notes. Total website traffic from all sources increased by 9 percent, with 67 percent of site visits coming from new visitors.
"As online businesses effectively attracted new customers with [search engine optimization] strategy and marketing efforts, it is clear that many have also invested in user experience, as conversion rates held steady overall–2 percent on average–despite growth in new customers, which typically results in lower conversion rates,” ShopVisible said inannouncing the results.
In its previous benchmarking report, ShopVisible identified an increasing amount of mobile-site traffic on its clients’ sites, a situation that has grown by 8 percent since 2013.
"With only a slight increase in orders from mobile devices and tablets, the new report signals that consumers are increasingly browsing from these devices but have yet to transact in the same way as they would in a traditional browser/Web experience,” the company said. “Additionally, average order values remain much lower on mobile devices than those on a desktop or laptop, emphasizing a significant opportunity for online retailers to increase overall revenue from mobile devices and tablets through optimization."