A mobile call to action

By Laurence Veale

Every year since 2006 has been heralded as the year of the mobile.

With smartphone penetration in Ireland at over 50% in some segments, perhaps the prophecy has finally been fulfilled (or is likely to be very soon).

Smartphone penetration is up to 50% in the 24-35 age segment
But what does this mean in real terms for the ecommerce or online marketing manager?

Well, according to research by Amárach, this means €800 million in Irish transactions over mobile devices in 2012.

But what’s the data telling us about right now?

Looking under the hood at the analytics of a popular e-commerce site I have access to, this mobile commerce phenomenon has already started in two main areas.

1. Email being read on mobile is increasing rapidly.

In a recent email newsletter, with no change to the subscriber list, mobile clients accounted for a whopping 37.9%. This aligns with increasing smartphone penetration – more people doing more things with their mobile. And, because it’s permission-based, email marketing remains one of the most valuable digital marketing channels.

2. Higher orders on mobile.

Average order value (AOV) is one of the two key revenue metrics anyone running an e-commerce site will be familiar with.

Here’s there AOV for desktop compared to mobile

All Visits: €138.06
Mobile visitors: €226.21

However, mobile purchases account for only 5% of all purchases which could easily skew this data, but taking a leap and assuming that isn’t the case, it’s worth asking why average order values could be higher on mobile than desktop?

Is mobile purchasing behaviour different?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • A mobile is with its owner and easily accessed most of the time so it caters for the right here, right now impulse purchase.
  • With the desktop there’s more of a gap in time and space which can be filled with the common daily distractions, your own forgetfulness and rationalising as to why not to buy anything.
  • On the desktop, your browser is open along with email, calendar and other applications. And you’re probably meant to be working.
  • The mobile phone is a more personal, discrete device, but unlike a desktop it can’t do true multi-tasking device. When you’re using your mobile, you’re generally doing just one thing, you’re more focused.

A mobile call to action

So, with email being increasingly read on mobiles and what seems to be higher value purchases being made on mobile, here are a few questions to leave you with.

  • If you run an online store, how are you facilitating my mobile interaction with you?
  • Is your email marketing designed for the mobile screen?
  • If I tap through from an email, is there a experience designed for my mobile or do you think I’ll be satisfied with making me pinch and double tap to find that darn add to cart button?
  • Are you satisfied with the time lag between mobile and desktop interactions? (what this means is that in the interim I’ll have thought of at least 10 reasons not to buy from you, that is if I remember you in the first place)?
  • And finally, have you started thinking about your mobile strategy?