Mobile sales growth stalls for first time ever

Mobile FeatFor the first time since tracking started in 2010, sales via mobile devices fell in the last quarter to the end of April. Just under half (49.6%) of online retail sales were completed through mobile devices during Q1 2016, compared with 51.3% in the previous quarter.

There was also a slight fall in the percentage of visits to online retail sites through mobile devices – at 64.6% in Q1 2016, down from 65.6% in Q4 2015.

However the percentage of click & collect orders for multichannel retailers remaining steady at 22% in Q1 – this is unchanged from Q4 2015 and has been consistently around this mark for around a year now.

Bhavesh Unadkat, Management Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement Design, Capgemini says “It’s surprising to see that mobile sales have decreased in the first quarter of 2016 when compared with the last quarter. This is predominantly due to tablet penetration which we have seen tailing off. We would usually expect this to be offset by a rise of sales on smartphones, particularly given the number of ‘phablets’ now in the market, but this hasn’t occurred to such an extent“.

Let’s not get too hung up on the numbers though, still around 50% of all online sales are taking place on mobile that’s not likely to change. If you’re selling online you should be thinking mobile first and even more so in any marketing materials that you send out – there’s no point having an email marketing campaign that looks superb on a desktop if I’m trying to read it on my mobile.

Mobile first should also extend to your marketplace listings. You don’t have to worry about Amazon who will sort out mobile friendly design for you, but on eBay fixed width images and sidebars on your listing design will look awful on a mobile. 49.6% is still a very large number.