Shift in Emphasis, from Desktop to Mobile, Found to Power Gains

Differentiating between the mobile and desktop experience

Author: Jen King

August 15, 2018

Some retailers are actively encouraging mobile shopping by including extra functions not found on desktop sites. 

According to an April 2018 Retail Systems Research (RSR) survey of 123 primarily US-based retail executives, most retailers either offer roughly equivalent desktop and mobile experiences, or a less feature-rich experience on mobile.

But RSR found that overperforming retailers (what it calls "winners," or those with better than average year-over-year sales growth rates) are considerably more likely to provide more, not less, functionality with their mobile web offering. Some 29% of these outperformers said their mobile web experience was richer than their desktop experience, compared with 16% of the underperformers.

"Winning retailers don’t merely accept that the consumer shopping journey often begins in the digital domain, they are encouraging it, often using mobile as the front edge of their customer experience strategies," RSR wrote.

While mobile commerce is growing rapidly as desktop's growth slows (we forecast that US mobile commerce sales will reach $208.13 billion in 2018, accounting for nearly 40% of total retail ecommerce sales), the importance of an aggressive mobile strategy is not merely to capture mobile buying, but also to ensure a positive experience that may lead to conversion online or offline.

We estimate that there are 185.5 million smartphone shoppers in the US, representing 83.6% of all digital shoppers.