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More People Shop Mobile in 2020 than Any Device

By |Published On: November 30th, 2020|

70% of All Online Traffic Comes From Mobile in 2020

Wolfgang Digital’s 2020 KPI Report is in and the results may surprise you — for the first year ever the majority of online revenue took place on mobile devices. This year, mobile devices accounted for 70% of traffic and 55% of revenue.

In 2019, mobile devices brought in 53% of online traffic for stores but only 32% of revenue — most users (56%) made their final purchase on a desktop. Mobile use for eCommerce has continued to increase year-over-year and is now up by 23% in 2020. Here are the traffic and revenue annual changes from 2019 to 2020:

YoY Traffic Changes (2019-2020)

Mobile: +17%

Tablet: -2%

Desktop: -15%

YoY Revenue Changes (2019-2020)

Mobile: +23%

Tablet: -3%

Desktop: -20%

According to this recent study, desktop revenue decreased by 20% from the previous year. Even with this decrease, over one-third (36%) of transactions are still carried out on desktop. Tablets account for a small percentage of revenue, reporting at 9% — a 3% decrease from 2019.

Mobile Now Makes Up Over 50% of Online Retail Revenue

Online retail showed an increase in both mobile revenue (20%) and traffic (14%). With this large annual growth, mobile now generates well over half of the traffic and revenue in retail while desktop revenue dropped 17% and traffic another 12%.


In addition to COVID-19 encouraging more online shopping, this growth could be attributed to other eCommerce trends — mobile-friendly optimization, secure checkout, social shopping, easy-to-use navigation, site performance, etc. Site usability on a small screen can also greatly impact how much online revenue is generated. It’s evident that online websites are taking this functionality into consideration — in the online only category, mobile traffic now accounts for 77% of online store traffic and individuals now spend 69% of total revenue.

The Travel Sector is an Outlier With 61% of Traffic Still Coming from Desktop

Travel differs greatly from retail figures — 61% of revenue still comes from desktop, despite only accounting for 35% of traffic. Desktops take the lead in the revenue category as most consumers continue to browse travel products or services on their mobile devices but finish their purchase on a desktop.

Paid Search Now Accounts for 32% of All Traffic

This year brought many shifts in overall traffic compared to 2019, with paid search gaining traction in almost every category. Overall, organic search traffic fell 10% with paid search traffic gaining 14%.

Traffic Sources

Paid Search is the Top Revenue Driver for the First Time, Making Up 36% of All Revenue

Paid search saw revenue increases in every category in 2020 and now leads with 34% of overall revenue — producing the most annual revenue for the first time. Organic search saw decreases in almost every category (except travel) and follows closely behind paid search, with a 1% margin.

Organic search is now the second-highest revenue channel with 33% overall revenue. Travel still sees the majority of its revenue come organically with 47% overall. Although organic search dominates in the ticket and tour travel subcategory with 55% revenue, paid search still leads for hotels with 31% revenue.

SEO Isn’t Quite Dead Yet with High Numbers in the Multi-Channel and Travel Sectors

Organic search still has a lot of influence in the multi-channel and travel sectors, but paid search has overtaken it in the retail and online only sectors. Organic search saw declines in almost every category, except travel. Despite this, SEO still carries immense value for organic revenue in 2020 — showing double-digit growth in all categories.

Travel revenue sources

Social Media Traffic Increases in 2020. Now Attributing To 8% of all Traffic

Social media saw an overall increase from 2019, driving 8% of website traffic this year. It holds the most value in the online only space with 9% of traffic and the lowest value in travel with 4% of traffic. These percentages may not look impressive but keep in mind that there are 3 billion smartphone users in 2020 and 70% of overall traffic online comes from mobile devices, so it’s crucial to update your social pages with product information, user-generated content, and customer reviews.

Email Traffic Grows to 9% of all Traffic

Email also saw an increase and now drives 9% of overall site traffic in 2020 — not surprising as many eCommerce sites now utilize email marketing as part of their key strategy to inform audiences about their brand, send promotions, and feature relevant news.

Conversion Rates Stay Consistent in 2020 at 1.84%

Overall conversion rates remain steady at 1.84% — a 0.01% annual decrease. The overall conversion rate by user saw a slight 0.29% YoY increase for an average of 3.2%. The 2020 overall rough average order value is now $119 USD — a rough annual decrease of $115.

Travel (Tickets and Tours Subsector), Boasts Best Conversions at 2.6%

While the travel conversion rate of 1.6% was overtaken by online only, the tickets and tours subsector held on to have the highest conversion rate at 2.6%. Keeping in line with 2019 data, the travel sector (and its subsectors) still holds the highest average order value.

Despite hotels producing lower conversion rates than tickets and tours, the category still has the highest average order value of roughly $536 — indicating that despite a lower amount of people purchasing hotel packages, these purchases remain of the highest value.

Online only has the second-highest conversion rate and the highest conversion rate by user, but its online average order value remains among the lowest around $127 — an annual decrease of roughly $130. These figures indicate that online only conversions are more frequent than others, but purchases continue to be of lower value.

Websites Continue to Increase Optimization with 5.1 Average Load Time

While the 2019 average page load time was 6.8 seconds, the 2020 report shows a decrease to 5.1 seconds — meaning eCommerce sites are getting faster through site optimization and web performance. Google recommends a target load time of 2 seconds, so this decrease is a step closer to that goal.

Data shows the average online purchaser requires 2.5x more clicks than the average visitor before buying. Sites that perform the best continuously attract consumers back which increases their average sessions per user. Google Analytics can be a great segmentation tool for your site to view and improve this data.

This research shared by Wolfgang Digital shows an opportunity to gain more clicks from site traffic through upper funnel Google Ads keywords that have strong click-through rates but low conversions.

Wolfgang Digital KPI 2020 Web Engagement Metrics

Conclusion: Final 2020 Takeaways

Despite previous years showing the majority of sales coming from desktop users, in true 2020 fashion the data took a surprising turn — this is the first year where most users abandoned desktop devices and switched onto mobile ones. Mobile revenue grew by 69%, now accounting for 55% of revenue and 70% of online traffic.

With 3 billion smartphone users worldwide, mobile revenue and traffic growth can certainly be attributed to site optimization, social media, online marketplaces, and ads that are all easily accessible on smartphone devices. Online engagement through social media is especially helpful for revenue — 86% of consumers said they’re more likely to purchase based on seeing a friend or family member interact with a brand on social.

The Wolfgang 2020 KPI report also saw another first with paid search being the top driver of revenue, overtaking organic search for the first time. Paid search now leads by bringing in 34% of website revenue and 32% of online traffic. In spite of this, organic search is still very crucial for your business — it’s only a percentage behind paid search revenue with 33% and still leads in driving traffic at 33%. All this to say, SEO is still vital to site revenue and traffic.

Facebook and Google continue to dominate as the largest marketplaces in the virtual space which gain the most attention from online users. More online platforms are following this trend, like Instagram and Pinterest in-app shopping.

Top-performing websites are now focusing on the top of their funnel — making sure their brand is seen first before others. This can be done through paid search and organic search with an emphasis on relevant keywords.

Significant conversion rates per user on larger websites, triumph over smaller sites. To combat this, smaller eCommerce merchants can implement strategies to drive more relevant traffic to their sites which will also increase these rates.

Lastly, Wolfgang Digital’s top takeaway for eCommerce stores is to put less focus on immediate conversions and more focus on targeting relevant top-of-funnel searches to increase sessions per visitor — you can win the sale over time by targeting more consumer sessions on your site.