How Fast Mobile Sales Are Increasing With Our Online Store

You’ve probably heard by now that mobile commerce is supposed to be the next big thing. If you visit any ecommerce blog or online publication, you’ll find that “mobile” is practically plastered all over the place.

Mobile optimized siteBut here’s what’s funny. Even though most people generally know that they need a mobile website, very few people actually take the time to sit down and implement one.

And I think the real reason that most smaller shops aren’t addressing mobile yet is because they aren’t sure that it’s worth the effort right now. After all, it’s one thing to read about macro online trends in an article.

But it’s an entirely different matter to see the true impact of mobile on a small online shop with real stats.

So today I thought that I’d just reveal a few mobile statistics from my own online store to illustrate the changes that are very quickly coming upon us.

Sometimes, it’s nice to see some cold hard numbers with which you can draw your own conclusions.

The numbers that I’m about to present to you were taken from the peak selling season starting from the last week of November to the end of December for the last 2 years. I’ll try to break things down for you by comparing the year over year numbers.

The Statistics

Before I talk about the data, I just want to make things clear that these numbers are for smartphones only (mainly Android and iPhones). In general, I don’t consider iPads or other tablets as mobile devices for the purpose of this article so the data does not include these devices.

In my opinion, most ecommerce sites can probably get away with just using their main website for tablets since the screen size and resolution is on par with that of a laptop or desktop computer.

Between this year and last…

  • Mobile traffic increased by 3.19 times
  • The number of mobile transactions increased by 2.2 times
  • The mobile conversion rate of my store increased from 1.22% to 3.19% for CPC traffic largely due to my mobile optimized website

As you can see, the amount of mobile users has increased significantly in just one year. Here are some other conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

More People Are Browsing The Web On Their Phones

If you look closely at the numbers above, you’ll probably notice some strange discrepancies. If mobile traffic went up by 3.19X and the conversion rate more than doubled, then why did mobile transactions only go up by 2.2X?

The reason was because a large portion of that traffic was for our content pages and not necessarily for our products. If I look at the breakdown of users who actually landed on my store through CPC traffic or by typing in a product keyword, the conversion numbers correlate much more closely to the change in conversion rate.

But bottom line, more and more people are becoming comfortable making purchases on their phones as well as doing product research on a mobile web browser. If your website is hard to use on a small screen, then people will bail.

Before I implemented a mobile optimized version of my online store, my mobile conversion rate was absolutely abysmal. But ever since my mobile site went live, the conversion rate for cost per click services like Adwords has increased over 2.5X to the point where our mobile phone conversion rate is almost on par with desktop customers.

Mobile As A Percentage Of Sales

Whether or not you should pull the trigger on a mobile website also depends on what percentage of your traffic is coming from a mobile device.

Last year, traffic from smartphones accounted for 11.3% of our overall traffic during the holiday season and was responsible for 3.2% of our sales.

This past year, smartphone traffic accounted for 21.3% of our overall traffic and 6.9% of our sales. As you can see, the percentage of overall traffic from mobile is becoming significant! After all, one-fifth of all traffic is nothing to sneeze at!

If our website was not optimized for mobile, we might have lost out on a good chunk of sales assuming a 2.5X lower conversion rate. As smartphone ownership starts becoming the norm in society, I expect these percentages to continue to go up!

Conclusion

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing people on their smartphones all over the place whether it be stores, restaurants, shopping malls, you name it. Hell, the other day my wife and I were eating at a restaurant and almost everyone around us had their smart phones out at the dinner table. (Quick word of advice: Never use your smartphone at the dinner table in front of your spouse on date night:))

The experts are touting mobile as the next big thing for a reason. Smartphone adoption is accelerating at a ridiculous rate so you should start thinking about a mobile strategy. Even with a tiny online store like mine, I can already feel the effects. And if my puny store can feel it, then yours probably will too.

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7 thoughts on “How Fast Mobile Sales Are Increasing With Our Online Store”

  1. I saw an increase in conversion to my squeeze site few days after optimizing it for mobile view – i discovered they all came through mobile to the site.

    Its a good thing to have a website optimized for both pc and mobile view

  2. People are always on the go and there are a lot of apps developed for smartphone users to cater their fast-paced life. If you don’t adapt to trends, you die. Or left behind…

  3. Rashed Khan says:

    It’s great that you’ve gotten some positive feedback from your mobile business Steve and I agree, mobile will be big in the years to come. Google know this and that’s why they’re investing so much money into building Android – an OS for mobile devices.

    My dad has a small business and I think the reason why they haven’t opted to go mobile is because of the risk factor and how much they’d lose if it didn’t work out. That’s not to say that it isn’t an excellent strategy though.

    Great post Steve.

  4. Thanks for sharing your results. What sort of tools do you use to create and promote your mobile site?

  5. I’ve noticed more people have their iphone and can’t read view my presentations well. For many people, their cell or smart phone is their primary means to get on the internet.

  6. Yes this day now more and more people prefer to browse everything on their mobile phones. People feel lazy to get online on computers.By using Mobile people feel easy to use and operate.

    1. It’s not that people are lazy, its simply that your mobile is ALWAYS on and your computer isn’t. We live in a world where everything seems to move at breakneck speed, where people no longer have time to wait for the computer to turn on before they can “do their thing”.

      Mobile devices (inc. tablets) are always on (usually) and as a result it is so much more convenient to just pick up your mobile device and just start browsing.

      Computer manufacturers are starting to realise this and are (slowly) starting create computers that look and behave like tablets, but have the power of a full on desktop.

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