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Desktop still leads mobile in terms of online purchase rates

19 April 2016 - 10:18 by Simon Crisp

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Although there has been a small increase in the percentage of orders made via safe shopping online which originate from smartphones and tablets, a new report from Bizrate Insights confirms that desktop PCs and laptops are still accountable for the lion’s share of activity in the market at the moment.

Analysts also revealed that the use of tablets has dropped significantly, with around a third of m-commerce purchases made from devices like the iPad in the first quarter of 2016, down from half in 2014.

Meanwhile, the rise of Android as a force for e-commerce activity has seen Google’s platform come close to matching Apple’s iOS for sales. And if this trend continues it may eventually overtake it, even if iPhone owners are generally more willing to carry out safe shopping online.

A fifth of consumers currently use their smartphones while visiting bricks and mortar stores to compare prices and find out about products. Two thirds said that they check to see whether products are in stock at retail outlets before they visit, by carrying out a search from their handset of choice.

It is interesting to see that even in the age of widespread smartphone ownership, plenty of people who like shopping online will generally choose to finalise any purchase from a desktop machine, rather than clicking through to the checkout of a mobile site or app.

This could be a reflection of the design issues which still afflict plenty of m-commerce sites, or the issues with screen size which mean that it is still easier to get a good look at a product by viewing it on a larger PC or laptop monitor.

It might also be because mobiles allow for casual browsing, while using a desktop PC is a more directed, proactive experience.