Global survey shows mobile devices outstrip PCs for fashion e-tail traffic generation

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Nicola Mira
today Feb 12, 2019
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According to a 2018 survey by e-commerce intelligence and customer experience specialist Nosto, no less than 58.1% of the traffic on international fashion e-tail sites comes from mobile devices, compared to 31.5% from PCs. Also, while conversion rates for mobile users is lower, the latter’s share of sales continues to grow.


The survey was carried out throughout 2018, covering 1.2 million visits to a representative sample of fashion e-tail sites, each generating a revenue of at least €30 million and operating in North America, the UK, France and northern European and francophone countries.

A global survey, whose conclusions confirmed the predominant role played by mobile devices in terms of traffic generation, while average revenue per visit was higher on PCs (€2.39) than on mobiles (€1.25). This was also reflected in the average number of products in the purchasing basket, which was 2.5 for PC users and 2.13 for mobile users.

In turn, this leads to m-commerce’s most common issue: the conversation rate for the fashion e-tailers analysed was 1.32% for mobile devices and 2.44% for PCs, though Nosto noted that the conversion rate on the sites in question grew by 21% between the beginning and the end of 2018.

Average purchase basket value was in line with these findings, at €104 for PC-driven purchases and €90 for mobile-driven ones. The gap, in itself unsurprising, is also explained by the higher abandonment rate on mobiles (80%) than on PCs (74%), and partly also by the difference in average visit time between the two types of device: web users spent on average 239 seconds browsing fashion e-tail sites on PCs, while they only spent 164 seconds doing the same on a mobile device.

France top for site-visit time on mobile devices with 186 seconds

The study also shed light on the differences in site visiting and purchasing behaviour between various regions and countries. France for example, lags behind the other countries/regions in terms of key performance indicators, with an average conversion rate of only 0.9%. It was however the leading country in terms of site-visiting time for mobile users, with 186 seconds, i.e. 25% more than the USA.

The UK on the other hand recorded higher conversion rates on both mobile devices (1.6%) and PCs (2.9%) than other European and North American countries, though its average revenue per visit on mobile devices needs to improve, being only €1.21, compared to €1.79 for northern European countries and €1.43 in Germany.

Germany’s fashion e-tailers posted the highest revenue per visit figure on PCs, with €2.99, while the gap between revenue per visit on PCs and mobiles, at 48%, was the highest among the countries analysed except for France. Another distinctive feature of Germany was that it recorded the highest number of articles purchased per transaction, both via PCs (4.4) and mobile devices (3.5). This performance is attributable to the obligation for e-tailers to offer free returns, which encourages customers to order items in several sizes to try them out.

Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) instead lead in terms of the percentage of connections made via mobiles, 63%, way ahead of German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with 44.5% and North America with 53%.

North American shoppers were the highest spenders, with an average spend of €118 on PCs and €111 on mobile devices. Nosto also observed that, in North America, the gap between devices in terms of average purchasing basket has “drastically shrunk,” as the size of the average mobile purchasing basket is now 94% of that on PCs. There still remains however a difference in terms of average revenue per visit, which is €2.20 on PCs and €1.32 on mobile devices.

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