While only a few years ago many customer journeys would start out on mobile but subsequently result in a desktop sale later down the line, that journey is very different today as we see a monumental shift in consumer tendencies when it comes to mobile sales. Mobile now accounts for 53% of digital sales, which is an immense increase from just 13% back in 2014.

A 2019 SalesCycle review found that 63% of traffic to retailers and 53% of sales happen via mobile. Fashion sales seem to dominate mobile commerce, claiming the highest percentage of mobile traffic (75%), and a conversion rate of a staggering 89.3%.

The introduction of shopping apps from increasingly more retailers, as well as improved mobile website speeds are just a couple of the catalysts responsible for the accelerated growth of mobile shopping sales.

A 2019 SalesCycle review found that 63% of traffic to retailers and 53% of sales happen via mobile. Fashion sales seem to dominate mobile commerce, claiming the highest percentage of mobile traffic (75%), and a conversion rate of a staggering 89.3%.

The introduction of shopping apps from increasingly more retailers, as well as improved mobile website speeds are just a couple of the catalysts responsible for the accelerated growth of mobile shopping sales.

Mobile dominates the entire customer journey

With mobile now taking the lead in not only retail traffic but also being accountable for more than half of all ecommerce sales, it’s clear how much the buyer’s journey has shifted over the last decade. A survey from Instart Logic which surveyed 2,000 21-45-year olds found that 62% of them used their mobile phones for their entire shopping journey. From discovery, to research to the actual purchase itself, whereas historically the sale would have been likely to close on desktop.

Footwear giant Schuh has seen a colossal shift in the way consumers shop their products, with mobile now accounting for 77% of their total sales, overtaking desktop in 2014 and up from only 13% back in 2012.

As app usage continues to grow, so will mobile sales. Tech savvy Millennials and Centennials are the driving force behind accelerated mobile sales and have the ability to direct this growth even further, as new technology allows for smarter shopping apps and a more attractive buyer experience.

eCommerce retailers need to up their game

So, what does this mean for retailers in terms of marketing direction for the future?

Mobile means ‘on the go’, and with that comes higher bounce rates and less average time spent on a page. This means retailers are under increased pressure to make a speedy impression on their customers or they risk losing them to a competitor.

Customer purchase habits are sporadic and customers tend to shift between devices throughout their buying journey. To optimize conversions, customers need to be compelled to buy on their mobile device and be able to check out confidently and conveniently.

Mobile trends, over the last 12 months especially, have accelerated the need for retailers to invest heavily into a ‘mobile-first’ approach, in terms of app experience and marketing techniques. The demand of mobile shopping is paving the way for a new norm in eCommerce, and retailers need to be on top of their game to compete.

Where does mobile sit with Paid search and social?

Online commerce represents Facebook’s biggest advertising vertical, with the platform investing heavily into shopping features and ads on’s, both on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook have introduced a ‘buy button’ to allow shoppers to make purchases without having to leave the platform.

Although mobile accounts for a large portion of paid social conversions, the percentage of share increase for both mobile and desktop seemed to grow simultaneously as opposed to mobile presenting an accelerated growth, which we would perhaps have expected to see given the speed of sale growth over the last few years. “For Google retail paid search, 46% of our ad-driven sales were attributed to phones from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, which is identical to the share we saw last year for the same time frame, with desktop sales share ticking up from 48% to 50%,” said Andy Taylor, head of research at Tinuiti.

While mobile commerce certainly seems to be dominating online sales, there are some limitations and hurdles to overcome before complete buyer confidence is achieved. Buyers don’t yet seem confident enough to make large value purchases on their mobile devices and still prefer to close these sales on desktop. But with increasingly smarter retail apps and an ever-growing demand for content on the go, we’ll no doubt see this figure soar in the near future too.