Though mobile shoppers accounted for 75.9 percent of all US digital shoppers in 2014, and mobile buyers for 63.7 percent of digital buyers, eMarketer estimates, MarketLive found that nearly 56 percent of traffic to retail sites came from nonmobile sources, as did three-quarters of revenues.
Tablets, which are typically understood to have a digital shopping use case closer to that of PCs than to that of smartphones, accounted for almost as much revenue share as traffic. But smartphones only accounted for about one-third as much revenues as traffic, supporting the position that smartphones are more commonly used for browsing and research activities than for actually completing a purchase.
By several other metrics, including bounce rate and add-to-cart rate, smartphones were the odd device out, with tablet and desktop behaviors more similar to each other.
Evidence abounds that mobile phones are still for upper-funnel shopping activities, with users more likely to close the deal in person or on a PC. According to the MarketLive data, smartphones drove the lowest revenue share for catalogers and housewares and furnishings, at 7.9 percent and 9.0 percent of the total, respectively. Smartphone revenue share topped out at 13.3%, for apparel, footwear and accessories retailers.
Traffic share for smartphones was higher across retail sectors, with a low of 23.7percent of catalog site traffic and a high of 35.7 percent for beauty and health retailers.