Over 66 Percent Of All Digital Transactions Now Take Place On Mobile

In-app purchases dominate this percentage, suggesting that marketers should focus on the transaction experience there.

Over 66 percent of all digital transactions in North America now take place on mobile, according to research from Criteo cited by eMarketer — indicating that brands who are not prepared for customers to complete the purchase journey on their smartphones are at risk of losing out on significant sales.

This purchase percentage is split between mobile web (20 percent) and in-app purchases (47 percent), suggesting that customers feel slightly more at ease transacting in-app from brands they are familiar with — but the shift away from desktop is significant either way.

This change has been underway for a while, but many marketers have come to assume that the common purchase journey might look something like this: Browse for inspiration on mobile, and then switch to desktop or in-store to make a purchase. Not so anymore, multiple sources suggest.

That said, on the dollar level, it’s likely that mobile will still play a smaller role, as customers seek larger screens (or in-store try-ons) to decide on their most substantial purchases: eMarketer estimates that in 2018, “mobile commerce will hit $208.29 billion, accounting for [just] 40 percent of total retail ecommerce sales.”

But as is typical right at an inflection point, this view is far from universal: In a recent interview, execs from Rue La La stated that their customers had no problem purchasing upscale retail items on mobile — and that their share of desktop sales was already decreasing.

As we wrote at that time, the company now manages its mobile strategy with this in mind, understanding that customers increasingly want mobile purchasesoptions — and that the mobile web, in-app, and desktop channels must work together and deliver a consistent experience.

As Feng Chang, senior director, growth marketing for Rue La La, recently told GeoMarketing, “for us, if we don’t want our main, engaged members shopping on Rue La La [on desktop], then why would we design it for them? Because instead, they’re going be shopping on the app. So, we focus the mobile/desktop web experience mostly that new user, and the app for the repeat, loyal user. For us, that’s the best allocation of our resources, and I think [that’s] an important takeaway for others as well.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.