Mobile Email Opens Surpass Desktop

According to a new report from Movable Ink, mobile opens have surpassed desktop opens for the first time, based on four to five billion emails and measures where emails are opened. and where people are converting every month. The data show that mobile opens (50.12%) have surpassed desktop opens (32.97%). What’s more shocking says the report, is that while 36.6% of people make purchases on a desktop, a whopping 49.3% of people make purchases on smartphones.

Jessica Jacobs, Director of Product Marketing at Movable Ink, says “…we do this research every quarter (since 2013)… (this is) the first time that we've seen conversions actually climbing… not just opening and looking on the phone… but driven to action and engagement… “

Rick Kenney, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Demandware, also agrees that phones are the device driving digital commerce growth. He says that “… by the end of 2015, Demandware predicts that phones will be the number one device for digital commerce shopping, unseating computers… “

  • The report says that Demandware studied the shopping activity of 200 million customers on 1,200 retail sites, and based on the Q1 2015 Shopping Index report: 35% of all traffic is from phones, a 38% increase from last year
  • Phones accounted for 76% of the growth in number of visits
  • 48% of the increase in orders.

The type of phone used by customers has an effect on conversion and open rates. iPhone gets more opens than conversions but, among Android users, the situation is the opposite, they get a bigger share of conversions compared to their share of opens, says the report.

Percentage Of Opens And Conversion By Device Type (Approximate Values)


% of Opens

% of Conversions













Android tablet



Source: MovableInk, July 2015

According to the report, based on the data, there are three mobile tactics every marketer should consider:

One: Create websites optimized for mobile, make buttons bigger and easier to read. This is something brands are doing quite well already.

Jacobs says "… the conversion data… climbing higher and higher on smartphones... (must) create an experience [where] it's easy to do what you want to do… to see the products… to actually fill out credit card information…"

Consider the way people read content on mobile devices, says the report. The time people spend reading email is short and shrinking. 70% of iPhone users are reading an email for less than 15 seconds. With too much content (in their emails), or their messages and calls-to-action are mixed, they're losing that conversion without an easy on-site experience.

Two: Jacobs said "… brands are starting to look at the data around their specific sector, or their specific email program, and if they see almost all of their opens are one device versus another, they’re making sure they’re putting resources (for])optimizing their website for that device…"

Besides desktops, tablets and phones, we are now also seeing the growth of the phablet comprising 20% of all active smartphones globally, up from 3% two years ago, according to Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics. Phablets are defined as smartphones with a screen size that is between a phone and a tablet, roughly between five and 6.9 inches.

Three: Frame metrics around the customer, not the device or visit. Adjust for the devices your customers are using. Beyond that, think about how you can move from visit-focused (e.g., conversion rate only) to shopper-focused metrics, says the report.

Conversion is not the end-all-be-all metric; retailers should track unique orders per shopper and active shoppers as two primary metrics. This calls for a collaboration between CRM and commerce teams, says the report.

The biggest challenge for marketers is to understand and optimize the customer’s buying journey, suggests the report. Kenney highlighted that cross-device shopping is up 15% from last year according to Demandware’s Shopping Index, and thus marketers need to recognize the shopper across devices and deliver appropriate messages, including personalized product offers or abandoned cart reminders.

"While phones represent about 18% of orders, over 50% of emails are opened on phones… “ concludes Kenny. “… one quick tip is to include a link to the shopping basket, both for abandoned cart campaigns and in traditional promotional campaigns. By doing so, retailers can recognize more phone users since they are very likely to open emails on their phones… "

For more information, please visit  Movable Ink.

1 comment about "Mobile Email Opens Surpass Desktop".
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  1. Mehdi ZOUAOUI from Middle East Development Network, March 26, 2016 at 9:38 p.m.

    Thank you for this nice read. Can this report be applicable to all the niches or it's only specific to the sample the report focused on because, for instance, in African countries, people have a general skeptical behaviours towards buying through mobile devices.

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