Is mobile over-hyped?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from Commerce Anywhere Blog.
Don’t get me wrong — I think mobile has and will continue to have a huge impact on the retail industry. It’s just that sometimes we get swept up by the shiny new object and neglect the basics. Less than two years ago Marc Andreessen, Netscape co-founder and famed tech investor, declared that stores were dead, yet they still typically represent more than 90 percent of a retailer’s revenue. Investments may not track contributions exactly, and that’s understandable. We just can’t let the ratio get too out-of-sync. Put another way, a meal consists of main dishes and side dishes. If the chef neglects the side dishes, the meal won’t be ruined, but the converse is not true.
After the holidays, I kept seeing stories about mobile traffic doubling or tripling, so retailers were upping their investments. But we need to put that in perspective. Even with huge growth, mobile is still not as big as PC traffic. MarketLive estimates PCs account for 56 percent of website traffic, and more importantly, 75 percent of the revenue. Average order value from PCs is higher too, according to the data.
I trust actual metrics much more than the surveys that ask questions like, "Have you purchased something from your smartphone in the last six months?" Few have not, but often they’re small, infrequent purchases so it tends to overweight the results.
And there’s a big difference between browsing and buying. Shoppers often are doing research on their mobile devices then completing the purchase on their PC. (According to a recent Monetate study, conversion rates of online shoppers using a PC are 3.41 percent vs. 2.86 percent when using a tablet and 0.92 percent when using a smartphone.) The PC has a definite advantage when it comes to conversion. From my own experience, I rarely buy on my mobile phone but split purchases between my tablet and PC. After all, today’s tablet is basically as powerful as our PCs.
So back to the original question, is mobile over-hyped? No, it’s hugely important to the retail business, and customers have come to expect top-notch experiences on their mobile devices. But don’t get distracted to the extent that the basics get underfunded. The "main dishes" of retail are what continue to bring in the majority of sales.
- Is Mobile Over-hyped? – Commerce Anywhere Blog
- Mobile’s Still Far Behind Desktop for Retail Ecommerce Revenues – eMarketer
- Smartphone Shoppers Rarely Close the Deal – Statista
Is the mobile opportunity overhyped? Do you share the author’s concerns that aggressive investments in mobile may take away from those needed for core operations?