Why Conversion for Mobile Organic Traffic is Lower Compare to Desktop

Session mobile vs desktop

Over a couple of years, I have been working on eCommerce SEO report and a trend I have observed is that mobile organic traffic came from behind to overtake desktop traffic, this cannot be divorced from the growth in mobile technology and an increase in the numbers of smartphone users. Before now, experts have always predicted that the future of online transaction and retailing is in mobile technology obviously the reality is dawning on us as eCommerce witness huge organic traffic from mobile. This, however, prompted me to make a particular assertion on LinkedIn as seen below.

While preparing SEO reports few weeks back, I discovered mobile organic traffic seem to be higher than desktop which isn’t surprising, but something worthy of note is that conversion for Desktop is quite higher than mobile, then I ask myself why? it’s pretty simple, desktop traffic tends to be more transactional while mobile traffic is more informational and navigational“.

mobile vs desktop organic traffic

Graphical representation of e-commerce conversion rate for devices

Session mobile vs desktop

Graphical representation of traffic for device categories


I received messages from some of my colleagues and friends on Linkedin asking me to elucidate more on my statement which I am going to do right here.

Firstly, we need to understand something called “search intention” people use the search engines for different reasons, with regards to commerce and buying online users can search for either of the three purposes highlighted below.

a) Navigational Purpose

b) Informational Purpose

c) Transactional Purpose

At one point or the other you have found yourself surfing the web, either window shopping, looking for information or an item to purchase online. You have found yourselves navigating from one online store to the other looking for nothing in particular. Some people just love surfing the web and checking things out for no specific reason, they might just want to see how a particular product looks for seeing sake, this kind of people doesn’t really have any buying intention.

On the other hand, we have people who surf the internet because they are practically looking for information about a product or service, these set of people are quite different from those I initially described above. These ones might be searching for products in order to compare prices, check specifications and other features of the product they intend to buy later in the future.

The third class of people are those who are online to buy. these set of people are using search engines for a transactional purpose, although they might at one point or the other be in the class of the first two categorization. Some people use search engines primarily because they are looking for an item to buy online.

Alright, with this categorization of search intent, I can deductively say that most mobile users have a navigational or informational intention. Mobile phones can easily be used to access the web anywhere at any time when compared to the desktop, but when it comes to buying people love to take their time to view the products probably on a larger screen, check specifications and more details.

unequivocally, desktop traffic also falls into informational or navigational category but the difference is, we find more mobile users in the first two categories, however, there are other factors that affect mobile organic traffic having a lower conversion rate when compared to a desktop but I will discuss that in my next post.

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