Adobe Predicts Mobile Holiday Retail Purchases To Fall Short On Record Traffic

Mobile devices will overtake desktop shopping visits to retail Web sites -- 53% vs. 47%, respectively -- during the holiday season as consumers search for products to buy. The biggest challenge is purchases on mobile devices, which will fall short. Only 5% of shoppers will drive about 35% of revenue from mobile for retailers, given inadequate mobile buying experience, according to data released Thursday.

As consumers become more comfortable with going online using a smartphone or a tablet to make purchases, there are roadblocks and challenges retailers must address, said Becky Tasker, managing analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, during a call with reporters.

Adobe estimates that mobile online traffic to Web sites will grow Thanksgiving Day by 4%, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday will jump 19% and 26%, respectively. The issue is not getting consumers to pick up a smartphone and browse the Web -- it comes with getting them to follow through with the purchase.

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Desktop conversion rates are 2.7% higher than for smartphones. Retailers may see an increase in traffic from mobile devices, but desktop still drives 75% of total revenue with 59% of traffic. Smartphones will drive just 16% of total revenue with 32% of traffic.

During the regular retail season, 26% of items that end up in a shopping cart on desktop result in an order, whereas only 16% result in an order on smartphones.

Adobe predicts a slight increase for the upcoming holiday season, with 30% of items in a cart resulting in an order on desktops and 19% on smartphones. Adobe's data shows that 60% of consumers find smartphones less useful for finding things efficiently than desktops. This shows in the numbers taken during the regular shopping season. The average order value of $155 on desktops outperformed the AOV of $120 on smartphones by $35 per order. The revenue-per-visit (RPV) on smartphones came in at 3.6 times lower than on desktops.

Overall, Adobe predicts a record number of billion-dollar shopping days this holiday season. For the first time — for mobile and desktop — 53 consecutive days will exceed $1 billion in online sales, versus 31 consecutive days last year, up 71% year over year (YoY).

Total online sales is estimated to grow 11% to $91.6 billion during the holidays compared with the prior year, with $8.4 billion expected between Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Cyber Monday will see the most growth in online sales, rising 9.4% to $3.36 billion, compared with a year-ago. Black Friday sales will rise 11.3% to $3.05 billion. Thanksgiving Day will have the biggest online jump -- 15.6% to $2 billion in sales -- although a slew of companies plan to close Thanksgiving Day.

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