Foot traffic to stores is steadily decreasing, but the fact that consumers are making fewer trips to retailers doesn’t mean overall sales have been down. In fact, retail sales for many businesses are soaring — and they have mobile to thank for that.
More often, shoppers are going to their mobile devices to make purchases. From pondering to researching to making that final decision, mobile devices play an essential role in the shopper’s journey, and that’s a trend that seems to be escalating all across the world.
“Online shopping has become a major force in global markets, and with the holiday shopping period upon us in the United States, we are seeing mobile’s share of that market accelerating,” says Larry Moores, our Vice President of Consumer Mobile Reporting and Analytics.
To better understand consumer behavior, we initiated a study in which we combined the anonymous, aggregated data from the 270 million users of our mobile browsers with data from our mobile ad platform in order to shed insight on mobile shopping trends. The results varied across country and across time of the year, but ultimately validated the fact that mobile usage is truly poised to become the number one engine of e-commerce.
According to our findings, across Western Europe, Latin America and the United States, the holiday season leading up to Christmas marks the busiest mobile shopping activity period. But in other parts in the world, mobile shopping activity peaks during other times of the year. In fact, globally speaking, June is the highest month for mobile traffic volume to shopping sites.
When it comes to behavior during the week, the report showed that while desktop traffic to e-commerce sites typically peaks on Mondays and remains stronger on weekdays than on weekends, mobile shopping traffic is highly concentrated on Sundays. This could possibly be explained by consumers utilizing their mobile devices to browse products over the weekend, then making the purchase when they return to their desks on Monday. Fridays tends to be the slowest day for mobile shopping.
We also took a look at where consumers are directing their attention. Amazon leads the way when it comes to where consumers are shopping in the United States, taking up a staggering 36.3% market share of traffic volume. Right behind Amazon is eBay, at 16%, and craigslist, at 11.5%. When it comes to the big box retailers who offer mobile shopping, Walmart leads, followed by Target and Sears.
Globally, Amazon remains the frontrunner, but there are some new kids on the block — like FlipKart in India and Berniaga in Indonesia — that have solidified their positions in Asia. In Latin America, mercadolibre has become a top mobile shopping destination. In China, Alibaba seems primed to pull some solid market share as mobile shopping marketplaces continue to evolve.
Retailers can simply not afford to miss out on the growing opportunities for mobile revenue. But to do so, they must understand the consumer and the consumer’s behavior. It’s not enough to provide quality content with minimal hassle. Retailers must make the experience and the interface bespoke to each consumer if they really want to capture the consumer’s attention and ultimately, motivate the consumer to make a purchase.