Mobile Window Shopping: Look but Don’t Buy

Mobile Window Shopping: Look but Don’t Buy

As smart phone usage increases rapidly in America, the technical abilities of new phones become more and more advanced to add convenience to their users’ lives.  The smart phone population realized that their phone is essentially a mini desktop computer that allows them to fulfill any task on the web without the constrictions of desktop computers or even Wi-Fi.

Despite the increasing popularity of browsing for products and researching shopping decisions on a smartphone, most consumers still choose to give their money to desktop sites than a mobile site.


Desktop computers are the leader in online shopping.  According to computers were responsible for 43% of eCommerce traffic during the 2014 holiday season.  Despite a 20% increase in mobile purchases, mobile commerce trailed behind with a result of 35% of total eCommerce sales.

Conversions on smart phones are still the lowest out of the “three-screen world” consisting of desktop, tablet and mobile.

So why are more people shopping on mobile devices but not spending money?  Why have smartphones become the “window shopping” of the digital world while desktop computers are the cash registers?

The reason for being less inclined to make a mobile purchase can simply be because the shopper prefers a mouse and keyboard instead of tapping and touching.  Mobile eCommerce sites are highly likely to lose their consumer traffic if their site is hard to read, difficult to navigate and does not offer an effective customer experience.  Sometimes the user is unable to make a mobile purchase because of technical difficulties, which means the site runs slow or does not optimize accordingly from desktop to mobile.  That only means the user is unable to make a mobile purchase, but not always unwilling.

Some shoppers are still adapting to the ease and convenience of purchasing on a phone, so they start making a small purchase, like a single item.  Consumers feel inclined to make larger purchases with multiple items on a desktop computer because they feel it is a trustworthy and effective way to quickly buy every item on their list.  On Christmas day, average order values on a desktop were $107.72, and only $88.70 on mobile devices.

Site visitors are likely to switch between devices.  Therefore, consumers will research and make purchase decisions on a mobile phone, but are likely to switch to a desktop to actually complete a purchase, according to

In reality there is no exact way to determine why eCommerce shoppers behave the way they do because each shopping experience is different.  Online shopping and eCommerce sites offer huge opportunity for B2C marketing because approximately 60% of American adults use smartphones and about 79% of American households have computers, according to  Making your website uniform and simple to navigate across all devices elevates to consumer experience and is more likely to lead to conversions on any device.

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