- The share of U.S. retail sales from smartphones grew 14% in Q3 2018 from a year earlier as shoppers continued to migrate toward mobile commerce, according to a study by adtech firm Criteo shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. Mobile transactions made up 40% of sales in North America and 52% in the Asia Pacific region.
- Omnichannel customers of brick-and-mortar retailers that also have online stores generated 27% of all sales despite representing just 7% of all customers, the study found. These retailers that combined offline and online data glean more than four times as much sales information to optimize marketing efforts than those that are not omnichannel.
- For online-only retailers that promoted an app, 31% of transactions came from in-app purchases. Brick-and-mortar retailers that have a shopping app saw fewer in-app transactions (21%) compared to online-only sellers, a difference that indicates the opportunity to integrate in-app experiences before, during and after shoppers visit a physical store, per Criteo.
Criteo's research suggests that mobile marketing channels can help to support brick-and-mortar retailers in reaching omnichannel shoppers who are responsible for a greater proportion of sales. The finding is reminiscent of the Pareto principle that asserts 80% of a company's sales come from 20% of customers. Identifying those loyal customers is a critical step in gathering more sales data to understand their tastes and buying patterns on both mobile devices and in stores.
Brick-and-mortar retailers shouldn't be afraid of cannibalizing store sales by promoting their shopping apps, Criteo's study suggests. Retailers that actively advertise their shopping apps generated 63% of all transactions from mobile devices, but most retailers aren't promoting their shopping apps. The Asia Pacific region had the highest percentage of retailers that promoted their shopping apps (46%), followed by Europe (28%) and the Americas (25%). The conversion rate on shopping apps in North America is more than three times higher than on the mobile web and about two times higher than on desktops, Criteo found.
While mobile commerce is steadily growing in the U.S., other countries are showing signs that their consumers prefer in-app shopping. Brazil's mobile shopping jumped 41% in Q3 2018 from the prior year as customers shifted their buying habits to smartphones, Criteo said. A later study found that purchases from smartphones and tablets surged 82% during the first half of December from the prior year while desktop buying slumped 4%, according to a survey by Rakuten Digital Commerce of more than 1,200 online sellers in Brazil.