Is mobile ad spend destroying your ecommerce experience?

Tom Sangers
By Tom Sangers
19 Jan 2017

When analysing adwords accounts and ad spend, I have noticed very few businesses are building and bidding mobile first. 

In the UK, half of all searches are done on a smartphone, yet this figure is not currently reflected in converting clicks.

So why do mobile visitors leave and not convert?

  • Is it a question of poor mobile experience? 
  • Do users get frustrated and switch to desktop out of necessity? 
  • Or do they simply not trust mobile to complete the purchase? 

Possible reasons why mobile websites perform worse than desktop ones

Poor ecommerce website design, hidden content, truncated text or a generally worse experience than on a larger screen can all kill mobile eCommerce conversions. They can also undermine the overall customer experience.

Mobile visitors are hard to understand and work out. They often switch devices between mobile and desktop. So tracking and attributing value is much harder. The simple fact remains that ad spend that directs visitors to a poor mobile eCommerce experience isn’t good for your brand.

The path to conversion today is not a simple one

Person on train using mobile

User journeys are complicated. Sometimes they are illogical. Mobile plays an increasing role in user purchase journeys that you cannot afford to ignore. The biggest question is what you need to measure and how to go about it efficiently and effectively.

First, you have to understand that no tracking system is going to be 100% accurate. Like I said, the user journey is “sometimes illogical”. 

Google Analytics is great but has limited capability to calculate cross-device attribution. Detailed cross device tracking is possible, but these systems can be expensive for small and medium sized eCommerce companies. 

Whatever device users choose, make sure they have no excuse to leave your site!

An organisational culture of testing and learning, which includes setting aside specific budgets for marketing research and development is important. This ensures that website content and features work seamlessly and quickly across all devices and models. 

Aim to eliminate all the reasons why a mobile visitor might prefer to complete their journey on a different device

Adopting the testing and learning culture such as user experience or conversion optimisation is the first step to analysing mobile journeys to understand and test cross device behaviour and attribution. This will improve mobile adwords conversions, enabling you to safely increase spend on mobile ads as the cost per conversion will fall in line with desktop. It will also improve the total experience people have of your brand.

This is the approach we take on our paid search accounts to ensure we are driving more qualified leads to their websites and convert more traffic into sales.