Report: Product discovery, not payments, the real m-commerce bottleneck

Conventional wisdom argues that despite mobile traffic growth, the main reason smartphone commerce lags the desktop is friction at the bottom of the funnel (i.e., payments). However, a new report from Qubit asserts the real problem is higher in the funnel with product discovery.

The recommendations of the report are highly self-serving, but the larger argument is provocative and worth further investigation and discussion. The data in the report is based on more than 1 billion customer interactions, as well as a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in the US and Europe.

Divergence between mobile and desktop retail site traffic (2017)

Qubit says its data show, on average, that mobile impacts just under 20 percent of desktop commerce overall. However, in some cases, “as many as 1 in 3 computer transactions are directly influenced by a prior mobile discovery journey.” The company explains that mobile influence on cross-channel sales has grown 93 percent since 2016.

“I would complete more purchases on my phone if…”

The report’s central argument is that retailers would sell more if mobile browsing and product discovery were easier on smartphones. According to the survey findings, the top three aided responses to the prompt, “I would complete more purchases on my phone if…” have to do with browsing and product discovery (graphic above). By contrast, payment friction was cited by less than 40 percent of respondents.

Qubit’s data showed that “leakage” was prevalent on mobile devices during the “select” phase of shopping. Select is defined in the report as the stage when shoppers “add to basket, view the basket or checkout page.”

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The company explains it this way:

This leak in the funnel is the largest on any device category, suggesting that while customers have no trouble engaging with product pages on mobile, something is impeding their ability to discover the products they want and proceed to the next step.

Better and more personalized product discovery is cited as the antidote to this challenge. Not coincidentally, that’s a service Qubit offers its customers.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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