Cover by Benjamin Yoskovitz, Alistair Croll

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Chapter 22. E-commerce: Lines in the Sand

Before we get into specific e-commerce metrics, we want to reinforce an important dimension of storefront segmentation.

There’s a tendency to think of all mobile use as the same. That’s wrong. “One of my pet peeves these days is how ‘mobile’ traffic is defined,” says investor and entrepreneur Derek Szeto. “It’s often defined as tablet plus smartphone, and especially from a commerce perspective, they’re very different things. If I were managing a marketplace or storefront, I’d segment my analysis into three groups: desktop, tablet, and smartphone.”

Part of the difference comes from the fact that users engage with the online world in three postures: creation (often on a computer with a keyboard), interaction (usually with a smartphone), and consumption (with a tablet). Mixing tablets and mobile phones into a single category is a dangerous mistake. And people buy more media on a tablet than they do on a PC because that’s where they consume content.

In other words: your mileage will vary. It’ll depend on whether you’re an acquisition- or a loyalty-focused e-commerce site; on whether your buyers are buying from a tablet, a phone, or a desktop; and on a variety of other important dimensions. The only way you can deal with this is to measure, learn, and segment properly.

Conversion Rate

In March 2010, Nielsen Online reported the best conversion rates for online retailers, as shown in Table 22-1.[92]

Table 22-1. Top e-commerce conversion rates

Company ...

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