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Mobile Commerce Across The Globe
Mobile Commerce Mall
Get Elastic Blog | September 5, 2014

The State of Mobile Commerce [Infographic]

This week’s infographic comes from Etail East, examining the mobile commerce landscape in 2014.


  • Less than 42% of retailers have mobile marketing strategies in place Tweet this
  • Only 38% of retailers have seen measureable success from mobile marketing efforts Tweet this
  • For 54% of retailers, mobile makes up >20% of total sales Tweet this
  • 71% of retailers’ mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop Tweet this
  • 88% of retailers have mobile optimized sites, only 38% have a mobile app Tweet this
Get Elastic Blog | August 21, 2013

Android vs iOS: Demographics and Mobile Commerce Activity

Last post we looked at the psychographic segments of iPhone and iPad users, and as promised, today we examine the differences between iOS and Android owners: device share, Web use, demographics and mobile commerce activity.

Device share

Android holds 52% of smartphone share vs. 40% for Apple. Source: Comscore
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iPad tablet share is 71%. By 2014 iPad users will still account for 68% of the overall US tablet audience. Source: Emarketer
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Mobile Web usage

iOS users surf the web more than Android users. Source: Chitika
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Men are slightly more likely to own an Android than an iPhone, women are equally as likely to own iPhone or Android phone Source: eMarketer
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Android is more popular among young people. Source: eMarketer
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The avg household income of iPhone owners is $105K vs $89K for Android. Source: Arbitron
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Mobile commerce activity

More iPhone users use mobile apps for shopping (67.5%) vs Android (43.9%) Source: Arbitron
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iPhone users are 54% more likely than Android users to use mobile commerce apps
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iPhone users spend more time with mobile commerce apps (105 min/mo) than Android (88 min/mo) Source: Arbitron
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iPhone users are more likely to engage in marketing and impulse purchases Source: Arbitron
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iPhone owners are 15 percent more likely to visit online retail sites Source: Comscore
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23% of iPhone owners have made a mobile purchase vs. 17% of Android owners Source: Comscore
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Mobile ad engagement

iOS owners click far more online ads than Android users Source: MoPub
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iOS users almost twice as likely to convert through mobile search ads as Android users Source: Adobe
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Get Elastic Blog | May 25, 2015

The State of Mobile Commerce Across The Globe

We know mobile commerce is growing, but are global retailers keeping up?

A recent study by Criteo examines the state of mobile commerce around the globe with some intriguing findings.

The US is not the global benchmark

Mobile’s 29% share of ecommerce in the US is slightly lower than the global average of 34%, trailing Japan (>50%), South Korea (>50%) and the UK (>40%), and nearly on par with Spain and Germany.


This insight is helpful for both online retailers operating in EMEA and rest-of-world sellers that ship to EMEA. The US is not the benchmark. Mobile share continues to push higher each quarter in every market (speculated due in part to smartphone screen sizes trending larger). There’s no time to defer investment in mobile accessibility, UX and experience any longer.

Funnel vs funnel

In the US, mobile and desktop visitors on average view the same number of products per visit, though conversion rates still differ relatively widely.


Contrast this with Japan, where mobile shoppers view 8.6 products per visit, converting at 9.35% (roughly double that of US desktop customers).


This disparity doesn’t necessarily mean Japanese mobile sites are more usable or engaging than the rest of the world, more likely it’s a reflection of the mobile-mature culture. But this gap should dispel the myth that consumers don’t convert highly on mobile devices due to form factors or otherwise, showing the potential for the mobile journey and conversion rates.

Laggards continue to lag

The study observed a growth gap of mobile share between the top and bottom quartile of retailers.


While the report suggests this is due to underinvestment in mobile, the difference in mobile share between verticals should also be considered.


Luxury and fashion retailers should be especially bullish on mobile growth goals, though the case for mobile optimization and investment across the board is strong.

What does this mean?

Bottom line, mobile matters. There are variances between geographic markets in percentage of share, engagement and conversion rates, and sellers targeting EMEA should understand the demand for mobile experience is not necessarily the same as the US.

How can you ensure you’re not a “laggard” in your vertical?

1. Look for mobile solutions that scale

Running mobile and desktop commerce off the same platform vs. using a third party solution for an “ site” is more efficient, ensuring consistency of content and experience without requiring separate maintenance. While most ecommerce platforms extend to mobile, WCM-driven commerce offers even more efficienty, allowing front-end presentation assets to be held in one system and supporting write once, publish-everywhere efficiency and ensuring consistent, real-time experience across touchpoints (even beyond mobile, such as in-store digital).

2. Optimize for performance

Mobile shoppers are often connected to Wifi, and 3G is still the dominant network worldwide. Rich and responsive experiences add to page weight, with the average page served to mobile over 1 MB.

Almost half of mobile users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Ensure you’re testing and continually optimizing for mobile performance to maximize engagement and conversion.

3. Run mobile-specific A/B testing

When you appreciate that mobile isn’t just mini-me for your desktop site, you understand why running mobile-specific A/B and multivariate tests matter.

Because “it’s like 1995 on the mobile Web right now” and we all as an industry need to figure out the best way to present navigation, home page content, filter/sort, product information, cross-sell upsell and optimal checkout, mobile deserves its own testing queue. For some retailers, geographic regions will warrant their own mobile experience and testing.

4. Support cross-channel personalization and shopping

We know multiple devices are now part of digital shoppers’ journeys. One report cites an average of 2.6 devices. Whether mobile is the starting, end or mid-touch, the ability to recognize a customer across devices and gather context / apply personalization supports this cross-device journey. Cross-device visitor identification is an important feature to look for in an analytics vendor and ensure you’re using correctly, paired with personalization and other marketing technology.

5. Check out our latest ebook

The New Customer Journey: A Convergence of Content, Context, Channels and Commerce, the first in a series discussing experience-driven commerce across touchpoints. Download it for free today.


Get Elastic Blog | May 6, 2015

Why Mobile Commerce Is Not Ecommerce 2.0

mobile-commerce-mallThere’s a big misconception about mobile commerce.

Despite the deadness of malls, the maturation of ecommerce, the dominance of Amazon and closures of numerous brick and mortar shops, over 90% of retail sales still happen offline. It’s not uncommon for a large retail brand’s online channel to account for less than 10% of sales.

Combine this with statistics of mobile visitors still converting lower than desktop, many business leaders believe the mobile opportunity represents merely a piece of a small pie — that it’s only online shoppers moving to mobile, and cannibalizing desktop sales.

Even if the piece is getting larger proportionately each year, unless mobile is understood as an important part of the offline shopping experience, these leaders will continue to defer investment and miss the mobile opportunity (you may consider it to already be the mobile necessity).

Mobile is not a channel

The idea that mobile is a digital channel is a misconception. Mobile serves all customers – both on-the-go online customers and digitally empowered in-store shoppers through accessible content such as product information and reviews, endless-aisle capabilities, augmented reality, social sharing and more.

Research by Google found 84% of shoppers that own a smartphone use their device to help shop while in a store, with almost half of them using their devices for 15 minutes or more. One in three prefer to use their device to look up information rather than ask store employees, and shoppers who use mobile in-store buy 25-50% more.

Forrester Research predicts 45% of offline retail sales will be influenced by the Web by 2020.

Mobile more than a touchpoint – customers use mobile to access touchpoints beyond your online catalog/storefront including native applications, beacons in-store, social networks and social shopping apps. An omnichannel retailer’s mobile strategy needs to account for all the ways customers want to use mobile, and craft the best experiences around them.

Who owns mobile?

Where should responsibility for mobile investment and ownership fall in the omnichannel retail organization? For many, mobile lives under ecommerce. For some, it’s a stand-alone silo. And for a few, a leadership role such as the COCO (Chief Omnichannel Officer) exists to oversee and align all customer-facing touchpoint experiences, rather than siloing marketing, stores, ecommerce and mobile.

Keeping mobile siloed can make it more difficult to win executive buy-in, budgetary support, technological investment and human resources to achieve omnichannel integration. Mobile sites will merely become slicker, faster versions of the e-store, missing the bigger opportunity.

Omnichannel retailers still lagging

In an SPS Commerce/RSR survey, 37% of businesses report they are lagging in their omnichannel strategy, exploring omnichannel options but not yet having set a long-term strategy. 32% are are beginning to develop their strategy, 26% are beginning to execute and only 5% have executed most of their strategy.


Image credit: Adobe / Emarketer

It’s not just organizational silos that hold retailers back, but also legacy technology that doesn’t support shared services, data or analytics. But so long as the organization remains siloed, even updated technology is less likely to be unified without a shared strategic, omnichannel vision.

Digital leaders that understand that it takes both the right organizational structure and technology investments to win in omnichannel retailing won’t treat mobile as a channel, but the bridge between marketing, digital and physical, and the key to satisfying customer experiences.

(Next week we’ll look at how mobile affects “omnichannel” strategies for online pureplays).

If you’re a mid-sized to large enterprise generating more than $20M in digital revenue annually, request access to the 2015 Advanced Commerce Maturity Scale assessment kit from Elastic Path. The Advanced Commerce Maturity Scale is a new way to measure the ability of your company to deliver omnichannel, experience-driven transactions across touchpoints, highlights areas of the business that constrain your ability to succeed, providing both descriptive and visual results to help you fully understand your level of commerce maturity relative to the current standard of excellence.

Get Elastic Blog | December 9, 2013

The Secrets of Mobile Commerce Satisfaction: An Interview with Larry Freed

I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Freed, president and CEO of customer experience analytics firm ForeSee and author of Innovating Analytics – Word of Mouth Index: How the Next Generation of Net Promoter Can Increase Sales and Drive Business Results (something to ask Santa for if you haven’t read it). ForeSee regularly publishes research on ecommerce and mobile commerce satisfaction, and in today’s post, Larry weighs in on what makes a mobile commerce site excel.

Between 2012 and 2013, responsive design has been a trend. What impact do you believe responsive design has on customer satisfaction, if any?

At ForeSee, we’ve been very much involved in analyzing best practices with regard to responsive design. We define responsive design as the approach a company internally takes to deploy its site across multiple form factors, which is coming from an inward-facing perspective. However, companies need to think about their strategy from the perspective of the end-user and consider what the experience of the customer will be like.

There are three ways or levels to approach deploying across multiple touchpoints. The first is the strategy of providing the same site to everybody on all form factors, which leads to an overall poor experience across platforms, as the design for a web browser won’t translate to the form factor of a smartphone.

The second approach is responsive design, where one site adjusts to the form factor. This can be successful, but still assumes that users of the different devices are visiting the site for the exact same reason. Tablet users may be visiting the site for a completely different purpose than that of a web user. Responsive design by itself does not solve user experience issues, but when done right, it can be a good thing.

Finally, the third and most time intensive — yet valuable — approach is when a company invests in specific sites for each form factor. Again, this considers what tasks or information the user of a smartphone will need versus that of a web user and prioritizes which features are most prominent and easy to access. By tailoring the experience to the end-user, the likelihood of creating a satisfying experience dramatically increases.

What are the key features shared by the most satisfying mobile sites and/or apps?

Based on our research at ForeSee, where we are constantly assessing customer experience through a variety of analytic tools, we have found that the most satisfying mobile sites and apps are those that provide an experience that has been adjusted for the form factor and takes into account what the most important functions will be from a user’s perspective. For instance, a user accessing a hotel’s website from a smartphone will likely have different objectives than a user who is browsing on a desktop computer. The context of the experience is critical, so organizations need to determine what those key functions will be and how they can deliver on them.

What are the big satisfaction killers found on mobile sites?

At ForeSee, we’ve found that one of the worst mistakes companies make is assuming their traditional desktop environments will work well on a mobile device.

The second mistake is being more focused on what the organization wants its users to accomplish versus what the users want to accomplish. If there is a disconnect between the two and the organization implements the site based on internal assumptions, the users will ultimately be dissatisfied.

Finally, the biggest satisfaction killer is not listening to your customers. An organization can’t manage what it doesn’t measure, so it needs to measure all audiences (mobile, web, etc.) in order to better understand customers’ needs and a better chance of offering a successful experience. We’ve been helping our clients to determine the right metrics to use to do this most effectively.

What’s most important leading up to the holidays in mobile satisfaction, merchandising or marketing?

The key objective of mobile marketing is to attract people to the retail environment (be it the store, the website, etc.), which is critical for retailers this holiday season. With this in mind, mobile marketing is going to have a noticeable and significant impact. However, despite the growth, it will only appeal to certain customers. There is a lot of buzz around mobile marketing, but it’s more valuable for the discount shopper – coupons as you’re walking out of the store, pricing strategies designed to fight off showrooming, etc. The key for retailers is to stick to the strategy of the company – a company shouldn’t become a discounter if customers’ brand expectations are different.

Ultimately, as is clear from our research at ForeSee, and which I discuss at length in my book, Innovating Analytics, what determines satisfaction is the customer experience, which could include a combination of merchandising, pricing, site navigation, etc.

Finally, an important aspect of the mobile experience is that mobile technology bridges the gap between the web and the physical store, so consistency across those channels is going to be critical (same product, same price) as well as transparency of availability.

What is it about Amazon that gives it such a high score on mobile?

From product look-up to product reviews, Amazon has a simple to use interface with lots of functionality and a wide range of merchandise. Amazon is very focused on the experience and is determined to improve the experience to meet the customers’ needs, whether the customer is in a competitor’s store and looking on their smartphone or casually browsing or shopping from their couch.

Are customers generally more satisfied by mobile sites or apps?

Generally, apps provide a better experience because they are attuned to the frequent user. The app user is generally more loyal or more committed to the brand because they have taken the time to download the app to their device. They are also more aware of the capabilities of the app so that familiarity generally results in higher satisfaction levels. In short, the app user already has some base-level of satisfaction with the company because they’ve decided to download the app.

With this in mind, however, the number of users who download the app is generally smaller than those who access the mobile site. An organization needs its mobile site to be as strong as the app if it wants to drive traffic to the app and secure long-term, loyal customers.

What are the top measurement mistakes that retailers make regarding mobile analytics / big data integration?

In Innovating Analytics, I describe quite a few of the major measurement mistakes that are all too common in business today. With regard to mobile analytics and big data integration, the biggest mistake organizations make is not focusing on the customer experience or not measuring the experience through the eyes of the customer. Companies need to use Voice of Customer (VoC) measurement that gathers insights from the customers themselves. Behavior data (time spent on the site, pages visited, etc.) alone won’t give the answers a company needs. While it is informative, it’s impossible to understand the context of what the user is trying to accomplish. For example, if a user spends 10 minutes on the website from start to finish, the organization might be inclined to consider that a success. However, if that user spent their entire time on the site trying to find a phone number to call, they are likely very frustrated after 10 minutes of searching. Knowing what the customer’s intent helps put everything in context.

In general, when we think of mobile analytics, it’s important to think of it in context of the customer journey. Most users today, and in the holiday season, are not going to be single channel consumers. They’re not going to use only mobile, web or store, there’s going to be a combination. So being able to look across those channels becomes an important aspect of the analytics.

Thanks again to Larry for joining us and sharing his insight on mobile commerce satisfaction. For more wisdom from Larry, check out Innovating Analytics – Word of Mouth Index: How the Next Generation of Net Promoter Can Increase Sales and Drive Business Results.

Get Elastic Blog | February 25, 2014

5 Ways to Improve Your Mobile Commerce Site

Last holiday season, mobile ecommerce traffic was greater than 50%, and 25% of purchases made on Thanksgiving 2013 came through mobile devices. Pair this with the fact there’s more mobile devices than people in this world, mcommerce too big to ignore in 2014.

It’s not enough to have a mobile presence — it’s gotta be optimized. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are five things to think about when designing and tuning your mobile commerce site.

1. Adopt a mobile-first approach

It’s tempting to take a desktop site and scale it down or otherwise adapt it to smaller screens, leveraging the design work and features already created. However, not all design elements, features and content make for a good smartphone experience, and not all are necessary. Mobile first redesigns work from smartphone up, ensuring the minimum viable content and functionality exists (and pages load fastest). It’s (relatively) easy to add elements to tablet and desktop experiences, but trying to retrofit desktop sites often leads to “satisficing,” which is less-than-optimal.

Keep in mind “mobile first” may not mean smartphone first for every project. You may decide that the tablet experience is your starting point, designing up and down accordingly.

2. Improve your form

Most site conversion goals involve a form – whether it’s a one-field email address entry or a complex registration or checkout. Consider best practices such as placing labels above form fields, avoiding inline labels, disabling first letter capitalization for email and password fields, and optimizing for touch input.

3. Remember search engines

Google shares that faulty redirects and smartphone-only errors are 2 common mobile SEO hiccups that you can fix. Faulty redirects detect the wrong user agent, and redirect visitors to the wrong URL, often the home page. Smartphone-only errors occur when Googlebot-Mobile is mishandled, creating an infinite loop of redirects between the desktop and mobile versions of a site, or serving a 404-page at a smartphone-friendly URL.

4. Understand content and context

Does your mobile site need to be a copy of your desktop site? Definitely not. Knowing your user’s mobile context helps you determine how to design navigation, what images to cut and keep, which products to merchandise on the home page, and what site tools, such as store finders, need more or less visibility.

You may choose to serve your mobile Web visitors with an app-like experience that takes advantage of rich media, a device’s camera, geolocation, push alerts and other app-like features using HTML5.

5. Get faster

Speed is critical on mobile – users are on the go, and service can be slow. Light load is a benefit of using a mobile-specific site (vs. responsive design). Resize, optimize and compress images for smaller screens, reduce scripts and redirects, and consider using a CDN to speed up your responsive website.

White-papers | June 4, 2013

Are You Ready for the New Mobile Commerce?

The traditional notion of executing a great multichannel retail strategy by aligning physical stores with a catalog, call center, and website has been completely disrupted. Rapid consumer adoption of advanced devices such as smartphones and tablets, high penetration rates for social media platforms with a significant mobile component (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare), and the rising importance of digital goods, has led to skyrocketing customer expectations. Customers now expect to be able to interact with your brand in a seamless and consistent way on any hardware, anywhere.

To remain competitive, businesses must understand the strengths and limitations of emerging mobile touchpoints, the context in which each is used, and how other enterprises have begun to leverage them. As ecommerce moves away from a singular website experience to the modern landscape of fragmented mobile devices, platform-specific apps, and social networks, savvy executives will also need to focus on the flexible architecture and culture needed to execute the service-oriented technology that is rapidly becoming essential to keeping up with the pace of disruptive change. This white paper outlines key trends in consumer expectations for mobile shopping, the technical prerequisites you will need in your ecommerce systems to deliver these applications, and how to effectively capitalize on your existing data and infrastructure to profit from these new touchpoints.