Closing the Mobile Conversion Gap: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

Man in shopping mall

This post is Part 1 of a blog series based on insights from Sailthru ebook “The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Increasing Mobile Purchase Conversion” available for free download now.

The one thing that connects marketers of all disciplines, organizational backgrounds and experience is REVENUE. It’s today’s leading edge marketers who are adopting and adapting to increase revenue in both the short-term and in the long-term by focusing in on how they increase purchase conversion.

Since customers behave – and especially convert – differently with brands depending on device, at Sailthru we’re focused on working with our clients to bridge the mobile conversion gap: the fact that consumers are increasingly consuming messaging and browsing on devices, but not converting on those devices as much as they do from laptops/desktops or instore. The bottom line is that the gap is here in a big, bad, bold way, and without a strategy for responding to evolving consumer behaviors your brand is at risk.

According to Forrester Research, only about 30% of ecommerce sales this year came through mobile equipment [1]. Another Forrester study found that while 32% of U.S. online adults regularly purchased products using “traditional” equipment – browser-based desktops or laptops – a mere 4% bought solely on mobile [2].

Yet, despite the indisputable sales supremacy of the desktop, more than 50% of all emails are opened in the mobile environment [3]. This percentage will only continue to grow with the steady proliferation of mobile devices. But as the data shows, when people click through to an ecommerce site from these emails, they probably won’t end up completing a purchase. Similarly, many consumers who visit ecommerce sites directly from their smartphones or tablets are also much less likely to actually buy something than if they were at their desktop or laptop. As things stand today in our cross-device ecosystem, there’s a tremendous amount of revenue is orphaned in the desktop/mobile divide.

We view mobile not just as another channel, but as part of the larger purchase journey, but when converting a site visitor into an actual purchaser is one of the most daunting challenges for every ecommerce marketer (a mere 4% of people who come to a site via email and about 2.5% that arrive there via search will actually make a purchase [4]) ensuring that the mobile experience is frictionless and optimized for conversion is crucial.

Despite the significant challenge, there are ways that smart ecommerce companies can overcome these very real obstacles to purchase conversion. They involve a clear-eyed analysis of the digital consumer – a deep understanding of her interests and online behavior – and using this knowledge to forge a strategy that engages customers more efficiently and consistently. The foundation of these understanding is having a plan for maximizing your use of data by creating a single customer view and then using that data to optimize the mobile experience, creating efficiency in the checkout process, discounting strategically, and having the right plan for cart recovery.

In this series, we will share our insights and strategies to help marketers navigate today’s evolving customer journey and omnichannel, cross-device landscape. Download the free ebook now.

By Cassie Lancellotti-Young, EVP of Customer Success

[1] Sucharita Mulpuru, “US Mobile Phone And Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2013 To 2018”, Forrester Research, 16 June 2014.

[2] Martin Gill, Sucharita Mulpuru, “US Retail Segmentation: Gen Y Online Shoppers”, Forrester Research, 19 May 2014.

[3] Lauren Smith, “Email Client Market Share: Where People Opened in 2013”, Litmus, 16 January 2014.

[4] Danyl Bosomworth, “Mobile Marketing Statistics 2014”, Smart Insights, 24 March 2014.