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As part of our ongoing research, the insights team continually monitors our clients’ analytics data to highlight any emerging barriers to customer experience and conversions.

One of the many patterns we see with this data is how the actual device the customer is using influences their purchase experience and impacts shopping cart abandonment.

From this data we have been able to highlight a number of patterns which clients should consider when evaluating their abandoned baskets. These include:

  • Mobile drives the highest abandon rate – This didn’t come as a surprise to us, but our research highlighted how difficult consumers find purchasing online using a small mobile device. Key issues the consumers had included:
    • Small text entry fields – too difficult to see
    • Error checking alerts blocking user view
    • Small text on product descriptions
    • Third party payment processor not mobile friendly
    • Mobile connection/bandwidth issues

Customers also stated that although they initially viewed the website on their mobile phone they actually made the purchase on a desktop or mobile device once they were home or had a better connection. This is an issue we have seen before, but analytics solutions are getting better at tracking the user and not the device.

  • The actual device brand & version can be an influence – when reviewing the device data at a more granular level we were also able to see that certain mobile brands provided a better conversion rate than others. From our testing we found that iPhones (and many iOS devices) gave a better customer experience and conversion rates were higher. Older phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3/4 delivered the lowest conversion rates with even older phones driving high volumes of traffic (10-15%) but with no conversions. As website technology advances and retailers deliver more imagery, functionality and applications within the site, older technology solutions can be alienated, delivering a lower than average customer experience.
  • Smaller tablets can provide a poor experience – Our research also highlighted that certain small screen tablets (7″ x 10″) like the Galaxy Tab, can be an issue, as the display is neither desktop nor mobile focused. Consumers were seeing a “hybrid” version of a website with stretch images and lots of white space which made the purchase process more difficult. However, with the release of retina displays and higher resolutions we found this issue disappeared.

How can we improve our site?

Based on these insights we would recommend the following actions:

  • Review your analytics data in more detail, even free solutions like Google Analytics provide a wealth of information on the device type and OS used, this can really help to highlight if there are any technical issues with your website
  • If using a responsive website make sure the small tablet resolution (1280 x 800) deliver the right layout and structure, this resolution can be overlooked for more common smaller mobiles or larger tablets
  • Think about the technology and applications you are delivering to your customers. They may be awesome on a laptop or tablet but can break on mobile phones. Some examples include:
    • Flash based product image viewers, not compatible with iOS
    • Large images which kill connection speeds
    • HTML5 or AJAX based product viewers
  • Consider your payment provider. If you use a third party payment handler then ensure it delivers a mobile friendly experience if the customer is redirected outside of your site. Usually PayPal, Stripe and Sage offer mobile versions, but extra coding is needed for WorldPay


Although mobile usage continues to increase we are still behind on how we accurately track those using multiple devices to perform research etc. The technology is coming and marketers should have access to this level of tracking within 1-2 years.

No website will convert at 100% but there could be some quick wins which could help to add a few more sales per month. This data is in your analytics software already, so utilise it to make some informed decisions on improving your customer’s experience.