Steep conversion declines are dooming session success
It's what's inside that counts - and inside the session, there's trouble.
While AOV rose - thanks, inflation - for the 2nd consecutive Q1 YoY period, conversion rate sank like your NFT collection's value. The result was a deep cut into session spend, which fell nearly 7% YoY, after last year's more modest 2% decline.
Why the conversion drop? Many point to the return to in-store shopping, or economic headwinds, or a commerce course-correction. But, there is a clear culprit here. Just like every 80’s cartoon, it’s the same heel as always - and it doesn’t take Smurfette to realize that it’s Mobile.
Shoppers continue to migrate to mobile - in Q1 mobile traffic grew 10%, while computers contracted 6%. Mobile traffic share swelled from 71% to 74% over that time. And, for every point of share traded to mobile, there is a revenue downgrade: desktop RPV is 2.5x that of mobile - or put another way, mobile RPV is about 40% of desktop.
Tl;dr: the mobile migration accounts for about 1/3rd of the overall conversion decline.
And, while 'the mobile experience' continues to receive lip service, little has changed over the past few years. Once we stopped pinching and zooming, the changes to the overall mobile journey have amounted to little more than bedazzling your Crocs with jibbitz(TM).
The mobile web shopping is the arrogant sales rep of the digital experience - constantly reminding everyone how much they bring in (traffic), though comically underperforming and thus leaving massive opportunity on the table.
So, we wait for the new mobile wave - an experience and journey built for the mobile context, not simply the device. This is not simply 'mobile web optimization' this will take mobile experience construction.
Sure, it needs to be free from frustration. And, it needs to understand the shopper's needs through personalization and segmentation. Most of all, though, it needs to literally break through the grid wall. The modern mobile experience is not a smaller, shrunken version of the legacy desktop experience.
Massive change takes courage. And, with mobile delivering more than half of all revenue (far more for some), established brands and retailers are unlikely to make meaningful, wholesale changes. High effort and high risk don’t get a lot of signatures.
Those that do, the architects of the new mobile wave will earn the crown as the next ecommerce royalty.