Report: A/NZ consumers moving to mobile, but still converting on desktop

New Adobe Digital Insights report on desktop versus smartphone website browser traffic finds A/NZ leading globally for smartphone browser growth, plus stickiness and return website visits

Australia and New Zealand consumers increasingly look at websites via their smartphones but still significantly prefer completing a purchase via the desktop.

That’s one of the key insights reported in the latest Adobe Digital Insights Best of the Best Report, which analysed desktop versus mobile usage, engagement and conversion trends during 2016.

According to the report, smartphone traffic to websites (excluding mobile apps) continues to rise across all countries globally as well as all industries. Australia and New Zealand are among countries leading this shift, with 37.7 per cent of all browser traffic coming through smartphones (the highest was Japan at 44.1 per cent). A/NZ also experienced the highest growth year-on-year (44 per cent) after India, putting it well ahead of the US (32 per cent) and the regional average (29 per cent).

In addition, A/NZ saw higher smartphone traffic in retail and finance sectors when compared to the US. Adobe Digital Insights senior manager, Becky Tasker, told CMO the trend was unique to this geography and suggested it reflected the differentiated mobile strategy upheld by finance and retail companies operating in A/NZ.

Across the region, smartphone traffic was highest in the telecommunications industry (41.4 per cent), followed by automotive (45.5 per cent) and retail (44.5 per cent).  

Adobe’s report is based on aggregated anonymised data from about 100 billion visits to 3000 websites across Asia-Pacific during 2016, gathered via Adobe marketing technology. As part of the research, the vendor compared average results for each category with those of the top 20 per cent of organisations in terms of performance.

Adobe’s data also showed conversion rates and frequency of website engagement to be increasing across both desktops and smartphones globally. Total conversion in A/NZ for desktop, for example, was 2.9 per cent, up 14.3 per cent year-on-year, while smartphone conversion sat at 0.8 per cent, up 20.8 per cent year-on-year.

These figures were significantly higher across organisations in the top 20 percentile of performance in A/NZ, indicating top performers are breaking away from the pack. Desktop conversion for example was double at 5.8 per cent, while smartphone conversion was 1.4 per cent.

For Tasker, the smartphone conversion numbers are a worry nonetheless, and she suggested brands still have a long way to go in getting consumers comfortable with converting via a mobile device.

“Smartphone conversion rates are currently much lower than desktop. But as people shift to using phones to engage, brands will run into issues with them converting if the experience is not built well enough to encourage that on a mobile device,” she commented.

“It’s positive we’ve seen year-on-year increases, and A/NZ has higher growth rates than any other country. But in the future, brands need to bring smartphone conversion up as well as enhance cross-device experiences.”

Tasker noted a 2016 Adobe report based on a survey of 1000 consumers found loading times, screen size and navigation hindering conversions via a mobile device.

Another area Adobe’s report focused on was frequency and time spent engaging with websites.  A/NZ saw the highest visit rates in Asia-Pacific across both desktop (1.77 visits per month on average, or 2.37 for the top 20) and smartphones (1.61 visits per month on average, or 2.16 for the top 20), and also reported a 2.5 per cent overall increase in smartphone visit rates year-on-year.

A/NZ had the highest rate of consumers returning to websites, which Tasker said was a good sign that local brands are giving consumers a compelling reason to come back. The overall report suggested visitor rates were falling in other regions by 5.7 per cent on average.

Stickiness was also down globally, with the exception of A/NZ, which saw a modest 1 per cent year-on-year increase in time spent on websites to 6.28 minutes.  This was significantly higher in the top 20 per cent of organisations in A/NZ at 9.01 minutes.

Tasker described the drop in stickiness as a warning sign, suggesting consumers are being more selective about content and which sites they decide to engage with.

For Tasker, the report also illustrated how the ‘best and the best’ websites have a clear advantage over the competition.

“With the increasing complexity of the customer journey, a commitment to digital excellence helps marketers create satisfied customers, who in turn generate a significant increase in revenue,” she added.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu      

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