Websites are gaining more traffic from devices, from voice-activated hubs to smartphones and personal computers, but consumers are spending less time once they are there.
Data released this week from Salesforce notes that in the first quarter of 2018 retailers experienced 15% growth in digital revenue, fueled by a 9% uptick in traffic to websites and 6% increase in the amount that shoppers spent.
The biggest challenge seems to be the average time spent on a site, which continues to decline. During the first quarter of 2018, consumers who landed on a website from a mobile phone spent about 4 minutes on the site -- down from 6 minutes in 2017 and 5 minutes versus 7 minutes for a PC, respectively.
The Q1 Shopping Index analyzes the activity of more than 500 million global shoppers to identify trends and changes in overall shopping activity.
Search use and revenue for brands edged up slightly in the past year. Revenue for brands rose from 19% in the first quarter of 2017 to 20% in the first quarter of 2018. Retailers saw a 1% drop in revenue, respectively, from 29% to 28%. Usage in the same time frame rose from 8% to 9%. Search use for retailers remained flat, but revenue fell slightly.
"Search use" is the share of visitors who engage with the search function on a website. "Search revenue" is the share of total revenue contributed by shoppers that use the site search function during their visit.
During the quarter, all traffic growth to websites came from mobile, per the report. Mobile cannibalized growth from other devices. Shoppers made fewer visits to retail sites through their computers and tablets. The growth contributed 21% more compared with the year-ago quarter.
In terms of commerce, mobile devices now represent 41% of all orders -- up 35% year-over-year. The first quarter of 2018 was the first full quarter where computers contributed less than 50% of all orders.
The average order value also continues to inch up. Salesforce estimated that in the first quarter of 2018, the average order value for retail sites globally is at $126.93 -- up from $124.62 in the year-ago quarter.
Social media still has little impact in luring shoppers to retail websites, per the findings, though mobile social traffic rose from 5% in the first quarter of 2017 to 6% in the first quarter in 2018.
While 2.5 billion people might use social media, brands have been less successful in getting consumers to move from social platforms to their websites. The study suggests that this may change as consumers rely more on their mobile devices.