- The value of smartphone visits is growing faster than desktop visits for online retailers as shoppers shift their buying habits to mobile platforms, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).
- Smartphone revenue-per-visit has risen from about one-fifth the level of desktop to about one-third since 2015, narrowing the value gap between smartphone and desktop visits by 10 percentage points. At the same time, the average duration of smartphone visits has fallen, hinting that mobile sites are becoming quicker and easier to navigate for consumers.
- ADI forecasts that next-generation 5G technology will help to improve the mobile shopping experience, especially since Google has found that 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load. U.S. online retailers will see a sales boost from 5G connectivity that more than doubles from $5.7 billion this year to $12 billion in 2021, per ADI.
ADI's report emphasizes how smartphones are providing the only source of traffic growth for websites, making a mobile-first strategy imperative for retailers and consumer brands that want to keep up with their customers' shifting habits and preferences. Smartphone visits to the websites tracked by ADI surged 89% from early 2015 to 2017, while desktop visits slumped 17% and tablet visits plunged 30%, pointing to which devices marketers should pay close attention to.
Smartphone users also have higher expectations for speed and navigation of mobile websites, as many people abandon a page if it doesn't load quickly enough while they're on the go. That means marketers need to be mindful of the declining attention span of mobile consumers who can easily close a web browser with a quick screen tap when a website's page takes too long. The average visit time from smartphone users in the U.S. has dropped 7.3% since 2015, while the average pages per visit has fallen 8.6%, per ADI. Mobile shoppers want websites to load quickly and help them find products and information with fewer steps and clicks.
U.S. consumers are generally early adopters of augmented reality (AR) compared with other developed regions around the globe. A wide range of companies — from social media apps like Snapchat to retailers like Home Depot and movie studios such as Warner Bros. — have helped to popularize budding AR tech, which overlays digital images on a real background seen through a smartphone camera. ADI found that 17% of U.S. consumers have tried AR features on their smartphones, compared with 13% in France, 12% in the U.K. and 8% in Germany. AR is especially popular among young adult smartphone users in the U.S., where 32% of people ages 18 to 24 have tried out the tech, paving the way for marketers to leverage the tech for strategic value-driven purposes.