Smartphone Ecommerce Website Traffic Up By 269%, But Cart Abandonment Rises To 90%

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While smartphone ecommerce website traffic continued to rise, 9 out of 10 smartphone visitors abandoned their smartphone shopping carts in the first three months of 2015, according to MarketLive’s Q1 2015 Performance Index™ report, which measures the real-world buying behavior of millions of consumers shopping online. MarketLive analyzed anonymous aggregated US traffic and revenue data from its customer base to arrive at this conclusion.

Ecommerce Website Traffic

Smartphone visits to ecommerce sites grew by 269% in Q1 2015 compared to same quarter last year, according to MarketLive’s Q1 2015 Performance Index™ report. Smartphone ecommerce traffic in Q1 2015 was 27% of total ecommerce website traffic and combined smartphone and tablet traffic represented 41% of total ecommerce website traffic. Smartphone ecommerce website traffic numbers for 2014 published by Adobe are close to MarketLive’s findings. According to Adobe, the average ecommerce website site received 26.6% of its US traffic from smartphones in 2014, and 17.8% from tablets, leaving more than half coming from the desktop. 2014 data from Monetate put the mobile ecommerce traffic share a bit lower, but still showed a clear trend of increasing traffic from smartphones and tablets throughout the year in the US, with desktop’s share of the total dropping from 71.6% in Q1 to 65.2% by Q4.

Revenue and Cart Abandonment Rates

Orders placed via smartphone were up 104% in MarketLive’s Q1 2015 report and reached 12% of all ecommerce website transactions. Smartphone visitor-to-buyer conversion rates rose 136%.

Revenue. The MarketLive Q1 2015 Performance Index™ report reveals that ecommerce revenues originating from smartphone devices increased by 123%. However, although overall mobile devices, including tablets, generated 41% of ecommerce traffic in Q1 2015, they generated only 26% of total ecommerce sales. Smartphone revenue-per-visit rose by 147%, while smartphone-versus-desktop gap in average order value (AOV) narrowed. Data from mobile commerce platform Branding Brands indicates that the desktop still accounts for the majority of ecommerce sales, 72% of the total in Q1 2015.

Cart Abandonment. Shopping cart abandonment happens when consumers put items in their online shopping carts, but then leave before completing the purchase.

Shopping cart abandonment has plagued ecommerce businesses for years, and one might think that things would have gotten better as technology improved and more people have grown accustomed to online shopping. However, shopping cart abandonment rates have only increased and the average industry abandonment rate is now at about 68%, and it will continue to increase as more consumers shift to online and mobile shopping.

MarketLive reports that overall shopping cart abandonment in Q1 of 2015 was up primarily due to high abandonment rate on smartphone carts. Nine out of ten smartphone carts were abandoned in Q1 this year, primarily due to poor user experience and cumbersome check out procedures.

UPS and comScore last year, conducted a study and they found that one of the top reasons people abandon their shopping carts is that shipping costs are too high. This is no surprise, not offering free shipping has been the major reason for shopping cart abandonment in the last ten years. Half of the respondents in the UPS and comScore study said they abandoned shopping carts because their order value wasn’t large enough to qualify for free shipping.

BI Intelligence sees shopping cart abandonment as a huge opportunity. The research firm claims that approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts in 2015, and about 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers. According to BI Intelligence an abandoned shopping cart does not automatically translate to a “lost sale,” because retailers can retarget consumers with emails and paid search ads after they’ve left a website. In addition, three-fourths of consumers who have abandoned shopping carts say they plan to return to the retailer’s website or store to make a purchase.

User Experience Improvements and Cart Abandonment Reduction

Overall shopping cart abandonment is increasing due to switch from desktop to mobile devices. The smaller smartphone screen makes mobile checkout challenging and many ecommerce websites have not been sufficiently mobile-optimized for ecommerce check out and payment process. With a mobile shopping cart abandonment rate of 90% much work still needs to be done by many online merchants to improve the check out and payment process.

This infographic includes a summary of the ecommerce traffic, revenue and shopping cart abandonment figures presented by Live Market, BI Intelligence and Nextopia.

Mobile ecommerce and abandonment stats