New Galaxy NoteYup. Here’s yet another post about how important mobile is in your marketing efforts. I know you’ve probably heard it before, so why am I writing this blog post? It’s not just link bait. I’ve seen three different reports in the past 48 hours that all point in the same direction.

Also, I still see a surprising number of businesses who don’t have mobile-friendly (i.e. responsive) websites. So obviously the message hasn’t yet sunk it quite enough. Maybe some of these stories will help convince you how important mobile is to your internet marketing efforts.

Social Media Influences Intent to Buy

Monetate helps marketers understand their customers’ situations, behaviors, and preferences, and act on those insights with in-the-moment, relevant experiences, targeted to the right customer at the right time. They provide e-commerce services to some of the world’s largest online retailers, including Best Buy, QVC, and Macy’s. In their most recent 4th quarter report, they provided data regarding conversion rates from these three channels:

  • 3.8% of visitors referred from email became customers
  • 2.3% of visitors from search became customers
  • 0.75% of visitors referred from social media became customers

UPDATE: The original blog article stated that “Social media conversion rates outperform search and email. This was based on Monetate’s original report, which contained errors that they have since corrected. The updated data show that social media conversion rates still lag search and email. However, social media has shown to be a powerful influencer on purchases before customers have an intent to buy. Therefore, it still has a powerful effect on the top of the funnel.

51% of Facebook Referrals Come From Mobile

Shareaholic is a social sharing platform used by more than 200,000 websites to entice visitors to share their content on social networks. They recently blogged that they’ve seen huge increases in the proportion of mobile traffic coming from Facebook. They saw a 197% increase in unique visitors from September, 2014 through January, 2014:


Graph courtesy of Shareaholic

From Shareaholic’s recent post, 51% of Facebook Referrals Came From Mobile,

In January, Facebook’s share of visits was 16.21%. Finally, Facebook mobile, with an 8.25% share, accounts for more than half (50.89%) of Facebook referrals.

The iPad Is No Longer So Dominant As A Driver Of E-Commerce Traffic

Business Insider ran another article based on the data from Monetate’s 4th quarter report. This highlighted the fact that Android phones and tablets have steadily eaten away at the iPad’s dominance. Together, smartphones and tablets made up 27% of traffic to e-commerce sites. However, it’s important to note the differences between how the devices are used:

The biggest difference between the two, and the reason tablets are the more successful e-commerce vehicle, is that tablets are used both at the beginning of the shopping process, for high-level research and at the end to finalize purchases. Meanwhile, shoppers tend to utilize their smartphones for quick middle-of-the-process research tasks, like locating stores and comparing prices.

What’s All This Mean?

Take these three trends together:

  1. Social media is now the highest converting e-commerce traffic source
  2. Social media is rapidly becoming more and more mobile
  3. Smartphone and tablet traffic to e-commerce sites is on the rise

It means that you need to embrace social media and that your site must be mobile-optimized for both tablets and (especially) smartphones. Otherwise, you’re ignoring the highest quality referral source (social media) and and increasingly larger quantity of traffic (mobile). What’s revealing – and concerning – in Shareaholic’s data is the rapid acceleration of mobile on Facebook.

We’ve been talking about these trends for years now. The time for talk is over. Go mobile or go home.