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Notes from eTail West: Part 2 - Mobile Moves Past the Tipping Point

In 2014, we hit the mobile tipping point - total global users of mobile phones outpaced those on desktop. In 2015, discussions on mobile are most often centered around how to best take advantage of mobile's growth in eCommerce, rather than on mobile's growth alone. Below, I've compiled a few of my favorite statistics that really put this into perspective:
Mobile traffic
  • 1/3 of all requests on Akamai's Intelligent Platform are from mobile devices, with asset requests growing by 1% per month
  • On Thanksgiving Day, mobile use hit its seasonal high, with 50% of users accessing via mobile (Akamai's Real User Monitoring (RUM) data)
Mobile expectations
  • 52% of smartphone users expect pages to load in two seconds or less, compared to 47% of desktop users (Akamai Technologies: 2014 Consumer Web Performance Expectations Survey)
  • A quick note - it's essential to pay attention to a customer's perception of page speed. Tools like WebPageTest.org show whether your site is optimized to render visually complete as quickly as possible. A few examples of this is delaying loading assets your customer won't see below the fold or reordering the loading of different script files.
Mobile engagement
  • 66% of emails are opened on mobile devices (47.22% on smartphone and 18.5% on tablet - Movable Ink)
  • Think about this next time you get ready to send out that email blast. Is your content optimized for the mobile platform? Have you dynamically resized image assets from desktop sizes to their appropriate mobile device sizes? If you have an M. site are you redirecting users on mobile devices to the proper landing page? If not, you're missing out on taking advantage of this first customer touch point.
  • Mobile users check their phones 221 times a day (Tecmark)
  • For a fun test try putting an app on your phone like 'checky' which will tell you how many times a day you interact with your phone
  • Customers expect a seamless experience no matter what device they choose to use
  • This comScore graph does a great job displaying how users interact with devices throughout the day depending on which is the most convenient
etail west 2 img 1.png
  • 93% of people who use mobile to research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service (Google)
  • You can't ignore the multiscreen shopping experience - mobile is a key part of the conversion funnel even if it's only used for researching products. The diagram below displays the consumer path through smartphone:
etail west 2 img 2.png
  • Shoppers on mobile devices outspend the average desktop only shopper by $810 a year per shopper, and are 2x more likely to make purchases of $250 or more (Akamai Technologies: 2014 Consumer Web Performance Expectations Survey)
  • We see this behavior consistently across more developed nations where consumers have multiple devices but its interesting to note - in developing markets, for example, Vietnam or the Philippines many end-users have skipped the desktop completely and mobile is the primary means of Internet access.
The above statistics on mobile adoption aside, the fact remains that mobile conversion rates are lower than traditional desktop. Why? Mobile is lagging behind when it comes to sophistication and ease of shopping. The simple reason is at their core, mobile networks are not designed for web traffic and experience more performance and reliability issues. On top of that, the variety of mobile devices, which employ different carriers, operation platforms and browsers make it difficult to provide a consistent user experience. One solution, Responsive Web Design (RWD), is gaining popularity among e-commerce companies, but has yet to reach critical mass.

I'll delve more into RWD in my next post.