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5 stats from Criteo?s latest state of cross-device commerce report

Criteo published the latest installation of its ecommerce report earlier this month and for those of you looking for interesting stats and industry trend spotting, it is chock full. This is consistently one of my favorite industry reports and I find myself citing statistics such as ?consumers convert 3x in apps than mobile Web? from earlier versions frequently when engaging with top ecommerce companies.

Criteo has analyzed billions of ecommerce transactions every quarter since 2014 to produce this semi-annual report. However, this is the first time to my knowledge that it has named it the State of Cross-Device Commerce. Earlier versions were called State of Mobile Commerce. 

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As the name suggests, a significant portion of this report is dedicated to contrasting the traditional device-centric view of consumers? buying journey with the new user-centric view. 

What this means is that traditional ecommerce marketing campaigns and analytics tend to look at activities on a single device, providing a partial and isolated view of the actual consumer journey that actually spans across multiple devices. 

By focusing on the buyer instead, marketers can get a more accurate view of the actual user journey with the full behavior and intent data.

As I mentioned, the report is full of great data insights and observations from many markets across the globe. 

Many of the insights confirm what we all experience as consumers ourselves. Some have even become well-understood truisms of marketing: marketers that provide a more seamless and personalized user experience on mobile will achieve better results, or the fact that iPhones versus Android dominate the share of transactions in the top mobile markets.  

However, I have chosen five that I thought were the most interesting and in some ways surprising from the report and added some thoughts as to why and what I see as the implications below:

1. Sixty-nine percent of transactions came from only one device; 31 percent used more than one device 
What surprised me here was the volume from cross-device transactions. Fully one in three transactions involved more than one device. That leaves a lot of room for distortion if you are only seeing the world through a single device lens.

2. Using cross-device view, consumers convert at 1.4x the rate than if you just viewed from a single device view 
This is one of the largest areas of distortion between the device and user-centric views of the world. It shows that users you may have thought abandoned a transaction, actually converted, just on another device. How annoying for consumers to receive abandoned shopping cart emails or retargeting ads for products they actually purchased.

3. Conversion takes 41 percent longer to happen when considering a user-centric view 
I also found this to be surprisingly large and important. It means that a consumer may actually be considering a transaction for longer than you may have otherwise concluded, and ecommerce companies actually have a longer time window to engage her along the journey. More specifically, it measures this in terms of number of visits, and says that a transaction takes 4.1 visits with a user centric view versus 2.9 if you just consider one device.

4. Add to basket and conversion rates on smartphones increased 25 percent year over year 
I liked this one just because it reminded me that, as Mark Twain observed, history does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. I am old enough to remember when people thought that no consumers would enter a credit card on the Internet and that the Web was for browsing and the phone for transacting, as in calling. That was quickly dispelled as, apparently, is happening to the idea that smartphones are for browsing and desktops for transacting.

5. Of retailers that have an app, 55 percent of transactions occur in the app 
This one really surprised me and I found myself wishing it were a stat that Criteo had reported in earlier reports so I could have some perspective. I have to believe this is the first time apps surpassed mobile Web for transactions, something they have done with regards to time spent for a long time. Obviously, the importance of incorporating an app into your marketing strategies is all the more important.

THERE IS A lot more to read in the report. Check it out and let me know what your thoughts were on the most interesting and why.

And, to the good folks at Criteo, if you are listening, I would love to see more in future reports about the interplay of app and mobile Web. 

It is my sense that it is not just a cross-device world, but a cross-platform world, and finding the right tactics to integrate mobile Web and native app on the same device will be all the more important as more marketers recognize the need for apps to engage their consumers and adopt the right tactics to do so.

Eric Stein is chief revenue officer of Branch, Palo Alto, CA. Reach him at