digibyte: Mobile spend per user lagging desktop

Profile picture for user gonzodaddy By Den Howlett June 23, 2015
Latest data suggests mobile spend has a long way to go to catch that of desktop, despite the fact mobile advertising is roaring away.

Infographic: Desktop Shoppers Outspend Mobile Buyers | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

We are bombarded with media telling us that mobile is the de facto platform for today's user. While that may be true for many purposes, Q1 2015 data from Monetate e-commerce survey(This chart shows the average order value of online shoppers on different platforms - subscription required) shows a different picture when it comes to order methods. (see above) As you can see, order value from desktop users is well ahead of any of the mobile platforms.

Of course this doesn't provide insight into the total order value placed by platform, nor does it tell us how this pans out across geographies or demographies. Thinking demographically, I was equally struck by the fact iOS (iPhone) purchasing is only marginally ahead of that coming via Chrome, one of the browsers that is automagically installed on most Android devices. We tend to the view that iPhone is for 'rich people' and it may well be that mobile purchasing turns out to be limited to that slice of the demographic pie.

Another survey says US mobile commerce spending hit $11.1 billion in Q1 2015 but that only represented 15% of all digital commerce. In the meantime, advertising dollars continue to pour into mobile advertising.

And if all of that wasn't confusing enough, in app purchases, especially in the games arena, are doing remarkably well, with Microsoft reporting that 55% of developer revenue for its platform are coming via that route.

Conversations I've had with developers suggest that despite the emergence of larger form factors like iPhone 6 and the Galaxy Note series of smartphones, building a great mobile buying experience is proving difficult, largely because no-one has truly cracked the code for matching mobile usage behavior in digital commerce with performance while ensuring they get the best price deal.

Then there's the hair ball of understanding whether users will install native mobile apps or prefer to use the mobile browser. I know from personal experience that you have to be highly organized just to manage all the component parts for consumer travel. Outside of Kayak, I have yet to discover a really good equivalent of the corporate travel portal through which I can arrange all travel.

The lessons are both clear and muddled. It is clear that mobile commerce has a very long way to go. On the other hand it is difficult for developers to know where to place their bets. Not a great scenario methinks.

Image credit - via AppFlood