L2 research advocates an omnichannel view of mobile investments, which means companies should evaluate them on the total sales they generate vs. just mobile. For the most part, consumers are using their smartphones to search products and stores rather than for transactions. As mentioned in the Intelligence Report: Mobile & Tablet, smartphones made a larger portion of online traffic in 2014 compared to 2013, but mobile shoppers (browsers) are four times as likely to convert in a store than online.
Data from IBM told the same story this holiday season. Smartphones drove 31% of online traffic between November 1st and December 31st, but just 9.1% of total sales. Even though smartphone traffic was 2.5x that of tablets, tablets accounted for more (13.4% of total) online sales. This graph from L2’s Mobile & Tablet report shows what shoppers use their smartphones and tablets for.