Mobile devices drive online sales

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark analyses terabytes of data collected from approximately 800 retail sites in real time for comparison against online sales of the previous year.  Data for Q4, 2013 confirms the dramatic shift toward the use of mobile devices for online shopping we had expected.

More than 1/3 of online shoppers are using a mobile device

Today, if you’re selling online, you can expect almost 35% of your visitors to be looking at your site on a mobile device. Most of those will be using a smartphone, and most of those will be using an iPhone.

This means the number one priority for online marketing in 2014 must absolutely be responsive website design to ensure you’re making the most of the ever-increasing amount of mobile traffic coming your way. If your website is one of the estimated 70% of ecommerce sites that is still not responsive (or doesn’t have a mobile version), this could be the year you put some serious space between yourself and your competition.

Here’s why you need a responsive website design that’s mobile friendly.

Key online marketing visitor stats:

  • Nearly 35% of all online traffic is coming from mobile devices (up 40% on Q4 2012)
  • 21.3% of visitors are browsing on a smartphone
  • 12.8% are browsing on a tablet

Orders from mobile devices up 46% in 2013

Online sales were up 10.3% overall in the fourth quarter of 2013 with mobile sales chalking up big growth numbers across all retail types.

16.6% of online orders originate from mobile devices, almost double the number in Q4, 2012.

Although smartphones are the mobile device of choice for site visits, tablets outperform them by more than double as the device of choice for purchasing, driving 11.5% of online orders as compared to just 5% for smartphones.

iOS users are also almost 8 times more likely to purchase online than their Android cousins.

Key online marketing sales stats:

  • Online orders from mobile devices increased by 46% on Q4, 2012
  • Mobile devices now account for 16.6% of all online orders
  • 11.5% of online orders come from tablets
  • 5.1% of online orders come from smartphones

Who spends the most online?

Average order amounts also sheds some light on the way people are using mobile devices for online shopping as well as the role social media can play in boosting online sales.

Not only do tablets drive more sales than smartphones, tablet users tend to spend slightly more on average than smartphone users. Breaking that down further, Apple users spend significantly more on average than Android users.

Facebook referrals average $60.48 per order whereas Pinterest referrals average $109.93, however interestingly; Facebook still brings home the bacon with a conversion rate three times that of a Pinterest referral.

Average online order amounts:

  • Smartphone users – $104.72
  • Tablet users –  $118.09
  • Apple users –  $115.42
  • Android users –  $83.56

Trends in retail online marketing

With online sales in some categories up by as much as 62.8% (department stores) and mobile sales growth up by as much as 81.7% (health and beauty), it’s clear some retailers are taking advantage of the unique opportunities mobile devices provide to reach their customers in more places and compel them to purchase online.

Sales trends in retail subcategories:

  • Department stores – up 62.8% on2012 (49.6% growth in mobile sales)
  • Health & Beauty – up 14.7% on 2012 (81.7% growth in mobile sales)
  • Home goods – up 46.4% on 2012 (38% growth in mobile sales)
  • Apparel – up 10.2% on 2012 (54.5% growth in mobile sales)

Harness the power of mobile in your digital marketing

Mobile growth rates like this are only possible for marketers who fully embrace mobile and specifically design their campaigns and websites around it.

With more than a third of shoppers now browsing online with a smartphone or tablet, a seamless, mobile optimised experience is essential.

This starts with a responsive website that works just as well when viewed on an iPhone 5, an old PC, a Kindle or an iMac. Or, depending on what you’re selling, a purpose-built mobile site may be your best solution to convert mobile visitors to sales.

If you’re already selling online or you’d like to get started, perhaps our digital marketing and website development expertise can help make your e-commerce business outperform expectations.

iFactory is a specialist digital marketing firm providing all kinds of clients with responsive website design, online marketing strategy, mobile sites, app development and ongoing digital marketing – all designed with return on investment in mind. To discover how you can cater for your mobile clients and even unlock the potential of mobile marketing, call us on 07 3844 0577 or drop us a note and we can chat.

Read more insights