Users of mobile devices are more receptive to advertisement retargeting techniques. This correlates with the constant rise in online shopping carried out from these devices

Retargeting on Mobile Proving More Effective than on Desktop PCs

The technique of retargeting product advertisements at online site visitors who fail to purchase is reportedly having less effect than it used to. Consumers may well be suffering from a certain online ad fatigue, given the excessive use of this technique on the web, especially the blanket, automated use of retargeting for all kinds of products by e-tailers. But while it may be true that over-use is currently proving counter-productive, the potential of retargeting cannot be entirely dismissed. Global personalised retargeting provider myThings, a company specialising in mobile retargeting, has just published a study carried out among its e-tailer clients which points to the fact that retargeting techniques are far more effective when consumers are habitual mobile device users. However, if they wish to exploit this potential to the full, retail companies will need to develop their mobile strategies further, working on such areas as interface optimisation and dedicated mobile apps.

More effective on mobile

The findings from the myThings report show that the sales conversion rate is 13 times as fast on mobile devices as on desktop computers and retargeting on mobile drove a 46% higher click-through rate than on desktops. The main reason, reckons myThings, relates to the ‘impulse-buying’ aspect which mobile encourages and which makes mobile devices more suited to retargeting. The survey found that consumers now spend more time interacting with online retailers on smartphones and tablets (55%) than they do on desktop and laptop computers (45%). And the growth of showrooming, where the consumer is often still inside a physical store while browsing online, may perhaps account for a large proportion of the 19% of online retail sales forecast to come from mobile channels in 2014. If this figure seems rather low, it is nevertheless almost double the rate in 2012. Mobile devices are thus emerging as an increasingly promising platform for e-commerce retailers, given that this is where the potential customer often goes looking for product information.

Taking greater account of mobile user habits

So mobile channels certainly look particularly attractive, given the higher conversion rates they generate compared to desktops, but advertisers also need to understand users’ habits. The myThings clients reported that visits and conversions from mobile devices registered an increase of around 30% on average in the evening compared to the daytime, while the evening uptick on desktop computers was only 14%. While retail interactions fell off at weekends across all devices, online visits/conversions were only 6/7% down on mobile but slumped by 26/30% on fixed devices. In addition, the report highlights some definite differences between smartphone and tablet user habits. The boom in showrooming and in-store price comparison may be the main reason why the majority of smartphone users (55%) reach as far as the product page on retail websites compared with 40% of tablet and desktop users. Nevertheless, some interface optimisation may be called for as 18% of smartphone consumers did not go beyond the homepage, compared to only around 3% of desktop and tablet users who stopped there – “either because they reached the site by mistake or because they were deterred by the greater usability challenges a smaller screen presents,” indicates the myThings report.

By Quentin Capelle