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Study: Top-notch mobile browsers and shopping apps drive sales

The attention spans of digital customers continue to shorten, giving retailers a very small window to connect with the mobile-first shopper.

With 68% of all sales taking place on mobile devices, retailers are in the hot-seat to create and execute mobile-focused marketing strategies, according to the “Global Commerce Review for Q3 of 2017,” a report from Criteo.

Mobile growth is gaining momentum, and retailers need to be ready. In the United States alone, mobile Web usage has reached maturity while smartphone usage continues to grow.

The share of transactions completed on a smartphone (not including apps) increased by 9% over the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, tablet usage decreased slightly during the same time period, as smartphone screens continue to grow in size.

Mobile is also influencing desktop sales, as 30% of U.S. desktop transactions are preceded by a click on a mobile device.

When looking at the specific retail verticals that had the largest gains in mobile transaction growth compared to third quarter 2016, sporting goods reported a 45% growth rate, followed by health/beauty with 38%.

That said, the area where retailers can best compete with industry giants is through a seamless in-app experience — a move that is designed to remove barriers to making a purchase. For example, in the U.S. alone, advertisers see 68% of all sales taking place on mobile devices. However, in-app accounts for 71% of mobile transactions for retailers who generate sales on both mobile Web and in-app, the study said.

Globally, advertisers who generate transactions on all environments (mobile Web and apps) see more than 50% of transactions completed on mobile.

Daily and hourly sales trends underscore the importance of retailers’ ability to execute campaigns on all screens, around the clock, based on their core shoppers’ behavioral patterns. While desktop browsing still reigns supreme during weekday working hours, smartphone and tablet browsing generates 37% and 46% more sales on Sunday, respectively. Similarly, in the early evening, smartphone and tablet browsing generates 35% and 47% more sales, respectively.

Understanding a shopper across all of their device usage can also unlock where they might be going. The key is understanding where their journey began, and using cross-device data to understand the winding customer journey. For example, a total of 41% of post-click desktop transactions, in total, come from another device.

Combining cross-device data to better understand and target shopper intent allows marketer to capture higher-value shoppers. This is most apparent in the high tech/computing and health/beauty verticals, the study revealed.

However, these details — online and offline sales alike — should not be evaluated in a silo. Rather, offline sales boost shopper knowledge and in turn, online results. Retailers that are successful in combining offline and online data are able to apply more than four times as much sales data to improve marketing efforts, according to the study.

“Today’s shoppers expect that brands and retailers will deliver a personalized shopping experience at the precise moment an interaction is relevant,” said Jonathan Opdyke, chief strategy officer, Criteo. “The findings reaffirm the need for retailers to adopt omnichannel strategies. Brands and retailers should also apply the massive amounts of data collected at each phase of the shopper journey — on all screens and in stores — to engage shoppers wherever and whenever it’s most impactful.”
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