- Marketers around the globe saw a 46% jump in in-app transactions last year, as shoppers continued to migrate toward mobile shopping platforms, according to a study by adtech firm Criteo.
- North American retailers that offer a shopping app generate 67% of all e-commerce sales conducted on mobile devices, while in-app transactions make up two-thirds of mobile transactions for retailers that sell products in both an app and on a mobile site.
- Shopping apps also had higher sales conversion rates of 21%, compared to the standard 6% on the mobile web. Retail categories with the highest share of mobile sales included sporting goods (44%), fashion/luxury (40%) and health/beauty (38%).
It's clear that mobile shopping continues to gain traction as retailers beef up their mobile offerings and consumers become more comfortable browsing and making purchases on a smartphone or tablet. Apps play a major role in driving this growth, with retailers working to improve the quality and functionality of their apps tailored to mobile instead of simply transferring their website into an app format. Digital wallets like Apple Pay give shoppers more seamless access to stored payment information to ease mobile purchases.
Criteo's study confirms the findings of other reports that show shoppers are more likely to use mobile apps than the mobile web for transactions. The study also emphasizes the importance of an omnichannel marketing strategy to support customers as they move among mobile devices, websites and stores. Omnichannel customers offer the greatest lifetime value to brands as they generate 27% of all sales despite representing just 7% of customers, Criteo found.
An omnichannel strategy can help retailers make up for a smaller share of mobile sales, but that requires combining shopper data across devices. Such combinations let retail marketers learn more about shopper intent and help them capture more dollars per customer. Average order values are significantly higher — up to 17% on average — for shoppers who experienced cross-device marketing, especially in the fashion/luxury, health/beauty and high-tech categories, the study found.
Consumers continue to trade desktop for mobile and back again, depending on the time and day they're shopping online. Retailers looking to target customers who can't leave their desks during business hours need to be mindful of the surge in desktop during that time, especially between 9 a.m. and noon, Criteo said. Desktop usage was still dominant during work hours when people were more likely to shop from a company computer, though transactions on stationary devices slipped 1.1% in 2017 from a year earlier. Optimizing for smartphone and tablet targeting is most important in the evenings and on weekends as consumers have more free time to mill about and hop between their devices.