The importance of mobile for today’s retailers is indisputable. According to SimilarWeb, 65% of total ecommerce traffic in the UK in January 2016 came from a mobile device.1 However, despite its apparent dominance, brands need to approach their strategy with caution. A better understanding of the true role of mobile within the omnichannel consumer journey will ensure budget is spent where it’s most effective, rather than wasted trying to improve performance in silo.

Don’t become blinkered by mobile volume
Whether it’s due to pressure from the CMO, or as a reaction to huge traffic volumes, marketers can become fixated on mobile at the expense of other channels. Unless the response is supported by analysis of a brand’s own consumer journey and mobile’s role within it, it can be easy to take the wrong action.

Focusing solely on increasing mobile conversions may not have the desired effect as often the high level of mobile visits don’t translate into conversions and revenue. This can be due to the device being used by consumers for research, before purchasing on a desktop or in-store. 69% of shoppers say they have searched for a product or service on their phone, then gone on to purchase on a computer or offline.2 When purchases are made on mobile, the monetary value of the sale can be less; the average order value on mobile purchases is 20% lower than on desktops.3

A unified approach is key
Instead, effort should be placed on understanding mobile’s role within the consumer journey, with the goal of increasing overall conversions. Consumers do not shop in silos so brands need to join activity across devices to understand the real impact of their marketing.

Budget should be spent in a way that optimises overall conversions, rather than on any single device. This can only be achieved with cross-device measurement and attribution, which enable marketers to concentrate their effort where it’s most useful.

This can be easier said than done, as there are often technical and organisational challenges to this joined up view, with channel or device specific teams using different methods and technology to measure their performance. To ensure teams work together, responsibility should lie with someone who sits above all teams and understands the value of a combined approach.

Despite high traffic volumes, investing heavily in mobile without an understanding of its place within the overall consumer journey is not necessarily going to mean more sales. Companies that take a joined-up approach will gain a true understanding of the contribution of the device to their business. Looking at mobile in context means brands can ensure the right amount of time and budget is invested in the device, with the right messaging and at the right time.

1SimilarWeb as cited in company blog, March 2nd 2016

2Lars Hirsch at SMX Advanced 2014

3The Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report