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When Do Shoppers Shop Online?

Despite time spent, mobile grabs few retail dollars

January 9, 2015

A new study from Opera Software took a look into the shopping behaviors of consumers on mobile devices and desktop. The study showed that while desktop traffic to ecommerce sites peaked on Mondays, remaining stronger during weekdays than on weekends, mobile shopping spiked on Sundays.

Share of US Digital Retail Time Spent vs. Dollars Spent, by Platform, Sep 2014 (% of total)

The prevailing reason for this behavior, according to Opera, is that shoppers may research and browse on their smartphones while lazing around on the weekends and wait until the weekdays to place their orders. The study also found that the day with the lowest mobile shopping traffic was Friday.

MarketLive’s “Performance Index” report from earlier in 2014, which was based on Q1 2014 activity among merchants, differed slightly from Opera’s findings. For tablets, specifically, traffic was highest on the weekend: Sundays captured 17% share of the weekly average, and Saturdays held 15%. But Sundays had a higher conversion rate than the others. That said, Mondays tied with Saturdays, each with a 15% portion of weekly revenues.

Smartphones showed less clear results for MarketLive. Smartphone conversion rates peaked on Sundays (0.65%), but Thursdays had the largest share of revenues, perhaps for the reasons cited by Opera.

September 2014 comScore data suggested that while mobile dominated time spent—66% of the total, vs. 34% share for desktop—89% of dollars were spent on desktop, compared with a mere 11% on mobile devices.

Mobile shopping patterns change over the course of the year, too. The Christmas season is huge in the US—as evidenced by flocks of consumers shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday—as well as Europe and Latin America. While those days get the most media attention, Opera found that June saw the highest global volume of traffic to mobile shopping sites.

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