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What We Can Learn From the Growing “M-Commerce Gap”

Katherine Buchholz Product Marketing Manager, DialogTech

comScore recently released a study on what they describe as the “M-Commerce Gap,” or the growing rift between how consumers shop on their mobile devices and how they convert. comScore highlights some very interesting research on why mobile shoppers shy away from converting via mobile, yet a number of questions follow this research: Where do they convert? Is it still online, but on a different device? Is it offline? Can I measure these other conversions?

I’ll talk more about those questions, but first here are a few key takeaways we think you’ll find interesting:

1. Mobile Commerce Is Growing Exponentially.

M-commerce spending in Q1 2015 was up 53% year-over-year. At $11.1 billion, this marks the highest spending level mobile commerce has ever seen. But not only is m-commerce the highest its ever been – it’s growing 5x faster than desktop e-commerce (which only grew 9% YOY).

m-commerce gap

2. A “Monetization Gap” Has Emerged.

Despite the exponential growth in mobile commerce spending, the time people devote to browsing the Internet on their mobile devices significantly outpaces how much they end up spending. Enter the “M-Commerce Gap.”

m-commerce gap

3. Conversion Inhibitors Relate to Screen Size

What is forcing this gap even wider? There are a number of inhibitors to mobile conversion, and screen size is the common theme among many of them. Whether it’s difficult navigation or too difficult to input personal information into a web form, smaller screens are leaving people frustrated and less likely to convert.

m-commerce gap

So Then How Do Mobile Shoppers Convert?

Last year comScore reported that 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases – that’s powerful mobile purchasing intent. And in this xAd study I wrote about (which is worth mentioning again) it shares insight into why we must measure these offline conversions, or secondary action rate (SAR). I won’t recap it all, but the main point is that the click-through rate should not be the be-all and end-all for mobile marketers. Optimizing mobile campaigns for SAR (such as calls, directions, and store visits) yields more extreme results than optimizing for CTR.

brand campaign metrics

We know people are shopping on their mobile devices. We know they convert at lower rates from their mobile devices. We know key inhibitors to mobile conversion. And we know that secondary actions can drive stronger conversion from mobile.

The next question is: Do you have attribution tools in place to help you measure the many ways mobile shoppers are converting?

Closed Loop Mobile Attribution Is More Imperative Than Ever

So what do I mean by “closed loop attribution”? This research speaks for itself: mobile is driving conversions. And these conversions take many shapes – a click, a form fill, a store visit, a phone call – but one thing remains the same for marketers: we need ways to attribute every conversion in order to close the loop on our marketing ROI.

Call tracking software is one way marketers are connecting the online and offline journey a mobile shopper takes. By tracking which mobile sources drive calls, marketers have the insight needed to prove the m-commerce monetization gap may not be as large as previously thought. And, to top it all off, they can use these call analytics to optimize their marketing to drive more valuable calls.

Want to learn more about measuring mobile conversions? Watch our free on-demand webinar, “The Role of Mobile Conversion Optimization in 2015” to learn more.