According to a recent study, mobile traffic accounts for 10% of visits to e-commerce sites, but converts at only half the rate of desktop visitors.

The study, released by Screen Pages, looked at over 1.5 million visitors to 30 non-mobile optimised websites and the results showed that mobile conversions were on average 41% lower.

The study reveals some interesting findings about how users interact with websites using their mobile device. Some of the key findings were:

  • 10% of website visits were from mobile devices, however this figure can approach 15% for premium brands that target a more affluent market. i.e. consumers of expensive brands are more likely to own a smartphone
  • Apple devices account for 81% of all mobile visits (47% iPad & 35% iPhone), proving that Apple is, by far, the most popular supplier of mobile devices
  • Average mobile bounce rates are 5% lower than desktop visits (40% vs. 35%)
  • Pages viewed per visit is 17% lower on mobile devices, on average
  • In terms of sales, conversions were 41% lower overall – ranging from 13% to 73% lower. However, there was an exception of one luxury brand that showed a 30% increase
  • Surprisingly, average order values (AOV) were marginally higher, with half the sample showing an increase

The analysis of the study has been visualised in this infographic:


An interesting point was raised regarding the performance of iPads, in that benchmarks are much closer to a PC than a smartphone because websites can be browsed with much more ease due to the screen size. It was also suggested in some cases that consumers relish browsing on iPads and appear more relaxed about spending through this device.

Essentially, every business has a mobile site weather they like it or not, it’s how that site is optimised for different devices that could make big differences in conversions.

As Roger Willcocks, director of Screen Pages puts it, “The commercial message here is clear, If mobiles are 10% of your business and conversions are 40% lower, on a site with 10,000 visits per day with a conversion ratio of 3% and an average order value of £50, mobile usage can represent a loss in revenue of over £300,000”.

This study is a good reminder that online retailers, big or small, need to take a good look at how there site is performing across all devices, especially with Christmas on the horizon.