Mobile, Tablets And Desktops. How Users Interact With Brands Across Multiple Devices

Mobile in one hand, remote on the other. Search on the train and purchase at home on the desktop… what’s true, what’s not and what’s right for retailers?

150% more shopping adverts were served on mobiles in 2015 compared to 2014. 31% of online purchases were completed on a mobile even though most of the searches are done on mobiles. What does that say? Quite clearly it says that people search on mobiles but often complete from another device. Why?

What is mobile most used for in the user path to purchase?

The short answer is research, for now! Stats provided by Google show that footfall in stores are declining rapidly, minus 57% this year! Yet, the average order value in store is 3 times higher than it’s ever been. The meaning? Simple, people shop less impulsively in store and do more research before hitting the high street. In short, they know what they want before they walk into the store.

If most of the traffic comes through mobile, why don’t user buy on that device?

The short answers are:

  1. most mobile sites absolutely suck! We’re just not ready for the full mobile shopping experience. Most mobile sites are slow at best, unusable at worst
  2. because of the fact that people are on their mobile for a multitude of reasons, they have easy access to internet browsing and thus it’s easier to start a search. This means that loads of the searches are done way before the user really intends to purchase, at that point they are just curious
  3. This will change. As the experience on devices and the confidence of users increases, mobiles will drive more and more sales, sending desktops into retirement, slowly but very surely.

What does this mean to marketers? What shall retailers do?

It’s not that hard. There are a number of things that need to happen and be in place, but once these are done then it’s pretty easy. Here’s a simple, top-level set of guidelines:

Absolutely be mobile!

With this I mean, design, UX, speed and checkout. Here two examples of good and bad design/UX (you choose which is good and which is bad – really fucking bad).


Try the Think with Google tool to see how mobile friendly and fast your mobile site. If your site doesn’t load, you’re losing users. We are not patient anymore, we want it all, and we want it now (oh we miss you Freddie).

Attribution! Attribution! Attribution…!

The truth is that at the time of this article, it’s pretty impossible to design an attribution model that is accurate and tells the truth. But (and this is a pretty big freaking but), if you are like 90% of the people out there you’re using a ‘last-click’ attribution model. That is the equivalent of saying that the footballer that scores the goal is the person who should get credit for the goal, forgetting anyone who initiates the sequence, who passed the ball etc. The equivalent of saying that the last chess move is the only move that matter to win the game or that the last step you took up the stairs is the only steps that took you there. Most common attribution models are:

Depending on your business, I’d recommend that you look at a position based or data-driven (which has now become interesting. These will help you draw a cross-channel and cross-device attribution model that makes more sense than last click. This is indeed easier said than done but the earleir you start having the conversation, the more you’re likely to understand what’s what. You might even end up sticking with last click, sometimes, depending on other factors, this might be your only choise. But don’t do it because you’ve not explored others.

Form a true digital marketing team

As soon as you have different agencies or teams who independently manage PPC, SEO, social media, paid social, email, affiliation, partnerships, cash back and physical stores, you are preparing the scene for a global disaster. I totally get that you need specialist teams with true focus on each ‘channel’ BUT (again another big but) these team must communicate, come together and unify the overall strategy so that everybody works toward the same goal. Then, I’d have an amazing data analyst with balls of steel, crazy attention to detail and the ability to think commercially, to spot any pattern and effect caused by any one channel to any other. For example, you might launch a display campaign which, predictably, does not seem to drive conversions but might increase the number of branded-searches (people searching for your brand) which might mean that you are driving conversions through branded PPC campaigns which typically cost you 1%-5% of the sale vs generic searches which typically come in at 10%-70% of the sale.

A digital marketing team that works as one unit across all channels and devices will help you draw a much more accurate picture.


Be mobile
Be clever
Be a team