Recently, the online and mobile marketing firm NetElixir Inc. conducted a study looking at 53 of its retail clients, all who had active websites. Some of these websites were optimized for smartphones (either standalone m-commerce sites or responsive design sites) and some had no mobile interface. The company then studied 180 million shopping sessions on these 53 sites in the second quarter of this year to determine whether there was an impact created by optimizing those sites for mobile devices.

The results collected by NetElixir reveal a significant impact of mobile optimization on both conversion rates and average order value. These findings demonstrate the growing importance of accommodating consumers on mobile devices, who are increasingly dominating online retail traffic. Here are some of the takeaways from this particular study that point toward this growing trend.

Conversion Rates

  • For smartphone shoppers, the conversion rate was 160 percent higher on mobile optimized sites than the rate for smartphone shoppers on non-optimized sites.
  • The smartphone conversion rate equaled 23 percent of the overall site conversion rate for non-optimized sites and 60 percent of the overall site rate for optimized sites (the exact conversion rates were not released by NetElixir).
  • In addition, the smartphone conversion rate for all 53 sites jumped from 1.42 percent in Q2 2013 to 2.02 percent in Q2 2014.
  • Smartphone traffic to all 53 sites in Q2 2012 that originated from mobile paid search ads converted at 2.68 percent.

Average Order Value

  • The average order value for shoppers on smartphones at non-optimized sites was 70 percent the average order value for shoppers using PCs (rather than mobile devices).
  • In contrast, the average order value for shoppers on smartphones on mobile-optimized sites was 102 percent of the average order value for PC shoppers.

According to NetElixir, much of this can be attributed to impulse sales driven by the immediacy offered by mobile shopping as well as the lack of friction on highly optimized mobile and responsive sites that offers even more convenience to the consumer. This has to do with the period of time that elapses between intent to buy and the actual purchase, which is much longer on a PC than on a mobile interface.

NetElixir Inc. is an online and mobile marketing firm that specializes in paid search and search engine marketing.


Siwicki, Bill. “Mobile Shoppers Convert 160% More Often on Sites Optimized for Smartphones.” Internet Retailer. 10/1/14.