Consumers are rapidly moving away from using desktop computers. As smartphones become more powerful, more and more people are using their iPhones and Galaxy Notes to do almost everything, including do a web search, stream media content, play video games, learn and work, and, of course, shop.
The adoption of mobile phones is increasing everywhere in the world. The share of the American population that owns a smartphone crossed 85 percent in 2021. This year, the total number of smartphone users around the world also reached 6.4 billion.
The growth is fueled by the availability of affordable smartphones in the market. There are also payment plans offered to those who want to acquire a more expensive smartphone but cannot pay out-of-pocket.
For comparison, only 47.1 percent of all households around the world had a computer in 2019, and the rate of adoption has stalled in recent years. Even when the shipments of personal computers experienced a boost in the past year fueled by the sudden transition to work and study at home set-up, it is not expected to catch up to the rate at which smartphones are bought and used globally.
In fact, for a decade now, analysts have been warning about the death of the desktop. Marketers should pay attention.
Smartphones Drive Online Traffic
Consumers around the world use their smartphones to browse retail sites. According to the data by Monetate, the majority of online traffic that different retailers receive comes from smartphones, making up 56.2 percent of visits. On the other hand, traffic from desktop computers accounts for 34.5 percent of clicks.
The conversion rate of smartphones is lower than desktop. While consumers like to browse e-commerce platforms using their mobile devices, they do not always make a purchase. Many people still use their desktops to buy goods and services online. The conversion rate of smartphones is at 2.25 percent. For desktops, it is at 4.81 percent.
However, the fact that consumers are still browsing online is important to consider because, while they may be making a purchase on a desktop, they might have found the product while window shopping using an app. This might be true for transactions that are a little more complicated than tapping one or two buttons. The purchase of plane tickets, for example, is mostly done on desktop; only 18 percent of plane tickets are acquired via mobile.
The Power of an App
There is one way to improve mobile conversion rates: apps. About one-third of online shopping is done through a mobile e-commerce app, with Amazon dominating the industry with about 150.6 million users. For comparison, its biggest competitor, Walmart, has 86.05 million users.
Moreover, 47 percent of consumers around the world say that they use mobile apps to shop. Only 20 percent prefer to use mobile websites, and 33 percent choose desktop websites.
That is the reason brands should invest time and resources in building an app. A mobile app is easier to use and navigate. It enables a faster and interactive user experience, making shopping fun. An agency that develops mobile applications can ensure that the mobile app can compete with Amazon and Walmart by creating a seamless shopping experience.
Mobile Influences Purchase Decisions
Apps do not just make the process of purchasing goods easier and faster. One study found that branded smartphone applications positively influence a consumer’s decision to push through with a transaction.
In fact, nearly half of all consumers looking at home furnishings said that mobile advertising or applications were a factor that convinced them to make a purchase. Nearly half of consumers (46 percent) who bought clothes were also influenced by mobile advertisements or apps.
Apps are superior to mobile or desktop websites because they tend to be in frequent contact with the user. They send promotional texts and emails, push notifications about sales or stock alerts, and provide various information such as style guides, store locators, and upcoming events.
Moreover, mobile apps can access the device’s camera, microphone, and other apps to perform a function. If, for example, the customer wants to connect to a customer representative, they can do so through the app. Websites, either mobile or desktop, are limited.
Brands need to pay more attention to mobile sites. Nowadays, consumers prefer to use their smartphones to find a product to purchase or make a purchase. The influence of desktop on purchase decisions, though still high, is waning because of mobile websites and apps. One cannot deny the convenience of this technology. In the future, if brands want to reach out to consumers, they need to do so via mobile.