Mobile devices have reshaped the shopping landscape. But despite impressive growth, mobile revenues still account for only a small percentage of online sales, and a minute slice of the overall retail sales pie. Merchants seeking to quantify the true impact of mobile commerce — and justify ongoing investment — must dig deeper to establish the right metrics for success.
By now, merchants are well aware that mobile commerce should be a central component of their online strategy. Two-thirds of the total time spent with brands online is via mobile devices, and revenue from smartphones grew a whopping 53 percent from 2014 to 2015.
But with mobile revenues continuing to lag mobile visits by a significant margin — some 44 percent of traffic comes from mobile devices, compared with 31 percent of revenues — and with those revenues contributing a minuscule amount to the overall company bottom line, merchants must find more ways to measure mobile impact.
So far, the 62 percent of retail merchants who say they’ve established mobile measurement of any kind have stuck to tried-and-true methods: 92 percent of those with established mobile KPIs report using “engagement” metrics such as traffic, and 77 percent track revenue metrics such as sales and conversion, but less than half use metrics to measure total business impact.
The imperative to identify and track key benchmarks is even more urgent now, as the calendar moves into the second half of the year and merchants finalize their plans for the all-important holiday season, when mobile is poised to play a pivotal role. In 2015, for example, mobile traffic topped desktop/laptop traffic to eCommerce sites on Black Friday.
To establish a solid baseline before the holidays, merchants should consider the following metrics to capture a fuller picture of total mobile impact on their businesses:
Site and Social Content
- Mobile on-site search usage. Mobile users are by and large task oriented, so measuring how well on-site search serves their needs is crucial.
- Video watch time and conversion on mobile. The majority of product videos in Q4 of 2015 were viewed on mobile devices, so merchants should monitor what duration of videos mobile shoppers watch and whether they’re convinced to add to cart, share, or save items afterward.
- Use of social sharing tools from mobile devices. Social network audiences are predominantly mobile, so merchants should not only make it possible for mobile users to like, pin and tweet about products, but should monitor usage of those tools.
- Conversion and fallout for site-to-store options. Merchants should apply the same analytical techniques they use for the cart and checkout to options that route shoppers into stores, such as “buy online, pick up in store” and personal shopping appointment scheduling tools.
- Use of saved carts and wish lists. Merchants should track mobile usage of tools that enable shoppers to “pick up where they left off” and access products of interest, whether they’re in stores or on desktop or laptop computers.
- Product research from within stores. A whopping 82 percent of shoppers use their phones while in stores to research potential purchases – activity merchants should segment and analyze for opportunities to smooth the path to purchase. To identify which mobile usage comes from within stores, merchants can track usage of in-store WiFi, store-specific URLs or QR codes, or request access to device location data.
- Redemption of mobile coupons at store point-of-sale terminals. One in four shoppers have used their phones to redeem coupons in stores, and merchants should track this activity to understand which promotions are effective drivers of mobile-to-store sales.
- Click-to-call usage and call tracking. Merchants should track click-to-call usage and consider implementing call tracking — bespoke phone numbers for different touchpoints or campaigns — in order to better understand not only what site pages prompt calls to live help, but also activity originating with ads that prominently list phone numbers, which may not register “clicks” but may drive business.
- Use of live chat from mobile devices. Nearly 60 percent of online shoppers have now used live chat for customer service, and merchants should understand how usage varies from mobile to desktop. The growing use of Facebook Messenger as a live help channel ups the mobile imperative, given that it accounts for 2 percent of all minutes U.S. consumers spend in apps; merchants experimenting with Messenger should track its usage closely to optimize its revenue-generating — and cost-saving — potential.
- Use/abandonment of loyalty account services via mobile. More than half of consumers say the ability to access and redeem loyalty rewards is an important mobile payment feature. Merchants should not only develop and promote these capabilities, but track their usage — and abandonment — to understand how best to spur purchasing among committed brand followers.
What metrics are you tracking to capture mobile’s total impact?