Here's what 100 site visits looks like from tip to tail
We tend to live by rates - we love %’s. It is a normalizer - and often shows acceleration and deceleration really well. But, even %’s need context.
Like an old 80’s cop drama taught us when an informant sought a reward after snitching out a fraudster peddling counterfeit cash, ‘10% of nothing is nothing.’
So, as much as we love those high desktop conversion rates and abhor the mobile’s high abandonment rate, the real audience sizes reveal the true story.
First - as we all know by now - digital traffic happens on mobile. Across web traffic (non-app), mobile delivers 3 of 4 visits.
Mobile maintains that dominance into the journey, too, as mobile shoppers tap their way to about the same cart rate (12.2% v. 12.7%) as desktop dwellers. Of a population of 100 ecommerce visits, 9 mobile carts are created to desktop’s 3 - roughly the same ratio as we see for traffic (3 mobile : 1 desktop).
That’s where things change.
While about 2 of the 100 visits convert, the gap between the two primary devices is narrowed considerably. 1.3 mobile conversions to .7 desktop conversions.
This helps narrow the cause of the mobile deficit considerably - it happens between cart and conversion.
There are really two milestones left after a cart is started - checkout start and checkout completion.
The latter step - checkout - has attracted lots of attention and optimization over the past handful of years. Thanks to Apple Pay and Shop Pay, the days of fat fingering our way through field after field have been effectively eliminated. And, while an ecomm checkout is not solely payment, fixing that friction has been productive. Some even claim that accelerated mobile payments deliver 40-50% CVR improvement.
Mobile checkout friction appears to be on a path to extinction, and the gap between mobile and desktop checkout completion rates, which stood at about 9 percentage points in 2021, will soon (or likely has already) reach parity.
The real mobile nemesis happens ahead of checkout: shopper intention.
Mobile pulls far more impulse shoppers - it is the nature of mobile traffic. With higher rates of traffic from social, ads, and email, mobile traffic is more impulsive. Great acts of marketing can certainly convert that traffic in session, though the likelihood is lower.
The story of 100 journeys is not just about those 100 journeys. Rather, those who wish to write a happy ending for their traffic need to consider the next 100 journeys: get to know those impulse shoppers (permission marketing ftw!) and deliver relevance in the next message to harden their intention.