Mobile vs Desktop: Comparing the Traffic of 3 Major Retailers

Mobile vs Desktop

Image from: Mobile vs Desktop / Shutterstock

With holiday season coming to an end, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at three of the top retailers, but in a slightly different way. Unlike previous years, we now have mobile data to play around with and it definitely gives us a fresh look at how consumers are interacting with the retail giants’ websites—both on mobile and on desktop.

Mobile vs Desktop – How do they compare?

Desktop Unique Visits: Amazon, Walmart, Target Mobile Unique Visits: Amazon, Walmart, Target
Click either chart to expand

Unsurprisingly, Amazon (6th most popular site in the United States) has quite a significant lead over Walmart and Target (Ranked 12th and 21st, respectively), two of its strongest direct competitors. This lead gets even stronger when we take a look at mobile.

Although all three retailers have a very strong presence on mobile, relative to desktop, Amazon is performing slightly better. Earning about 0.68 mobile visitors for every desktop visitor, this scores slightly higher than Walmart’s 0.63 and Target’s 0.58.

This shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise to most considering Amazon’s pure play status. One thing that is surprising though is that Target’s mobile traffic isn’t higher than Walmart. The reason for that is, at the time of writing this post, Target’s iOS app was ranked at 160. This is 10 spots ahead of Walmart, who is ranked at 170. Although iOS is only part of the picture, Walmart has had an average of 15M more unique visitors (UVs) per month over the past six months. So unless Walmart has a significantly higher presence on Android and mobile browsers, a scenario that is quite possible, we can only hypothesize as to the reason why this is the case.

Does Walmart offer more deals on their mobile app? Is their mobile browsing experience is better than Target’s? A deeper analysis would be required to figure out exactly why this is happening, but it is a good starting point for both retailers.

Mobile earns higher visitation rate

Visits per Person: Amazon, Walmart, Target

Another interesting way we can compare the three retailers on desktop and mobile is by their visitation rate, or visits per person per month. Taking the average of the last six months of data, we can see that across the board, mobile has a significantly higher visitation rate. Again, Amazon scores the highest, averaging an impressive 7 visits per person via mobile.

When comparing desktop to mobile, all three sites perform similarly, with mobile averaging a visitation rate that is roughly double that of desktop. This is even higher than the typical mobile vs. desktop visitation frequency for retailers, where on average, mobile shoppers visit retail properties at a 48% higher rate.

The higher visitation rate seen by retailers is just another argument for why retailers and every other business needs to have a focus on mobile. Consumers are visiting digital properties at a rate that is double that of desktop. Additionally, many of them (15%) are doing it while they are in a brick and mortar location. If a retailer site isn’t mobile-friendly then they are taking the risk of annoying or even losing customers that are finding store information (55%), comparing prices (50%), and making purchases (40%).

Our Mobile Advertising Effectiveness and Mobile Behavioral Intelligence Solutions are best-in-class and based on platform-agnostic survey capabilities to measure mobile media and passive mobile consumer monitoring. Please contact us today if you are looking for similar mobile attitudinal and behavioral data.

About Zach Eberhart:
As a senior at Northeastern University, Zach Eberhart is thrilled to join the Compete team as the new Social Media / Marketing Co-op. Majoring in marketing and management information systems, Zach loves everything marketing and technology and has experience in both the agency and startup world. If you like what you read, you can connect with him on Google+ or LinkedIn.