A New Trend in Online Shopping: Mobile-only Visitors

February 06, 2014

The mobile revolution is coming faster than many retailers expected. Internet Retailer recently reported that a full one-third of online visitors to the top 10 online retailers exclusively used a phone or tablet.

The following chart features the top 10 online retailers in the U.S. ranked by the total number of unique visitors in December 2013. The total digital monthly unique visitors for each retailer are shown in blue alongside the number of mobile-only visitors - defined as visitors who visited the retailers' sites or apps exclusively on a smartphone and/or tablet.

Top 10 retailer digital visitors

The second chart, below, shows mobile-only visitors as a percent of total digital unique visitors for the same group of retailers.

Mobile visitors as a percent of total

The takeaway from these numbers is that retailers, and other B2C companies, need to invest in mobile technologies faster than they may have thought. Here are some of the updates that companies could adopt to support the large number of mobile-only visitors:

  • Ensure that websites and online shopping carts are mobile-friendly so that potential mobile customers don't get frustrated and abandon their purchases
  • Consider building a mobile app separate from the main website
  • Make marketing emails and newsletters mobile-friendly, and ensure that all links go to mobile-friendly landing pages
  • Consider mobile-only marketing campaigns, such as push notifications or targeted emails to mobile-only users
  • Update customer databases to include mobile customer interactions along with regular website visits
  • Invest in mobile analytics to understand how mobile visitors are using your site and/or app

Mobile shoppers are quickly becoming a large percentage of all online shoppers. The first retailers to provide a great user experience for these shoppers will be the ones who are able to capture the most revenue from this growing segment.