LightningBuy’s Mobile Commerce Conversion Index Shows Winners and Losers in Mobile Commerce

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Study shows some top retailers will be missing out on Holiday 2013 mobile sales.

Large retailers that do have mobile sites often deliver a strong mobile experience and well optimized imagery, but they stop short of improving the actual shopping cart experience, leaving this as only an afterthought.

LightningBuy a single-click mobile checkout platform that lets merchants sell directly from email and social media posts, released today its "2013 Mobile Commerce Conversion Index." The report and corresponding infographic, available at, ranks the top 100 Internet retailers’ ability to convert mobile traffic to sales.

The index reveals surprising results about some of the largest Internet retailers, and highlights why many of them will be missing out on Holiday 2013 sales. According to the report, only 72% of the top 100 Internet retailers have a mobile site. While some may have a mobile-optimized home page, they still lack a fully mobile site or are not mobile commerce enabled.

"Large retailers that do have mobile sites often deliver a strong mobile experience and well optimized imagery, but they stop short of improving the actual shopping cart experience, leaving this as only an afterthought," said Carissa Ganelli, CEO and founder of LightningBuy. "If there are too many clicks to purchase, a lengthy load time, or too much data entry required, shopping cart abandonment increases dramatically. Add to that the time crunch and frenzy that surrounds the holiday shopping season and consumers are sure to leave one merchant’s time-consuming purchase process in favor of another merchant where purchasing is quick and easy."

The infographic calls out the top five ranked companies, which include Abercrombie & Fitch, Hayneedle, Fanatics, Office Depot, and Target, all boasting fewer screens required to purchase and short load times and excellent user interface principles. Remarkably, the three largest tech companies in the world – Apple, Microsoft, and Sony – have no mobile website at all, or have only a mobile home page with all other pages being merely shrunken versions of the desktop site. "Personal electronics are popular holiday gift items but the poor mobile experiences for these top three electronics manufacturers means that retail sales will shift from them to their retail customers thereby decreasing margins. If it’s easier to purchase the latest iPad from Walmart’s mobile site than from Apple’s non-existent one, consumers are more likely to do so."

The report highlights specific tactics that the most successful merchants take to convert mobile traffic to sales, and LightningBuy’s Mobile Commerce Conversion Index (MCCI) offers a precise rating of how likely a merchant is to convert visitors to customers.

The index showed that 20 Internet retailers lacked any mobile site at all, and four had a mobile site but lacked the ability to make a purchase. Eighteen sites required customers to register before completing a transaction, and three of the companies ranked – Barnes and Noble, GameStop, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters -- required visitors to go through a record 19 screens to make a purchase.

Mobile commerce sales are increasing exponentially, with eMarketer predicting sales exceeding $71 million by 2015. Smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of day-to-day consumer behavior, yet the report shows that many merchants have m-commerce experiences that are lacking and that will hurt them in capturing holiday sales. A full 25% of the top 100 retailers force customers to register before making a purchase, and only 12% received full marks for basic user interface elements.

The report revealed other surprising facts, including:

  •     Only 12% of the top 100 ecommerce sites had exceptional user interfaces.
  •     Ostensibly the grand-daddy of all ecommerce sites, Amazon, is ranked only 49th on the MCCI.
  •     The average number of clicks to make a purchase is five; although three companies have 19 screens before a buyer can make a purchase.

"Mobile commerce is very different from ordinary desktop commerce," said Ganelli. "It’s all about the quickest path to purchase, and what works on a standard desktop often just does not translate to the mobile screen. You can’t just reduce the size of your desktop website and expect mobile consumers to follow through. This is especially important during the holiday shopping season when consumers are bombarded with sales, images, and offers that all work to distract them from making the purchase."

LightningBuy does not hesitate to call out the worst offenders. Their "Weekly Worst" newsletter picks some of the biggest mistakes made by prominent retailers, offering insight into how they could have had more effective mobile marketing campaigns and/or mobile websites.

About LightningBuy

LightningBuy is a single-click mobile commerce checkout platform, which allows vendors and merchants to sell directly from email, social media, or digital advertisements. The platform brings a new dimension to mobile buying and selling, offering a user-friendly and remarkably simple check-out process for buyers, and a simple implementation for merchants. For more information on LightningBuy and to obtain the full report, please visit or contact Carissa Ganelli at cganelli(at)LightningBuy(dot)com or 203-951-5611 X101.

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