Path-to-purchase online now involves multiple devices

Most retailers are failing to measure the impact of different devices on the path-to-purchase online, according to the authors of a new research paper.

Technology company Criteo says in its State of Cross-Device Commerce Report that Southeast Asian retailers who lack a “cross-device perspective” will have a distorted view on up to 41 per cent of their online transactions.

“In the long run, this distorted view results in inefficient allocation of marketing spend, which would in turn affect the quality of shopper engagement and the volume of customer acquisitions,” said the authors.

The adage ‘browse on your smartphone, buy on your desktop’ is officially dead, the report concludes. Consumers now reach for their smartphones for both searching and purchasing, making it even more important for retailers to provide a synchronised experience across desktop and mobile devices.

“Consumers are using multiple devices in their buying journeys, from searching and browsing, to buying,” says Alban Villani, GM, Southeast Asia, with Criteo.

“Retailers who successfully deliver a seamless and personalised customer experience across devices will then stand out from the rest.”

Villani says Southeast Asian retailers must distance themselves from “outdated” device-centric marketing and adopt a user-centric approach.

“In today’s competitive landscape, e-commerce businesses cannot afford to draw the wrong conclusions and waste money on the wrong channels. They must turn to cross-device measurement to ensure accurate attribution, before investing optimally in high performing engagement and sales channels.”

The report says marketers need to consider how much cross-device shopping may cost in ad wastage if they do not have accurate and scalable measurement.

“Traditional analytics tools look at activities on a device-by-device basis, providing a limited and siloed view of a customer’s multi-device journey,” says the report. “Shifting to a user-centric approach that leverages advanced cross-device measurement tools can accurately identify a consumer and capture a complete view of their shopping experience. This approach aligns with buying behaviour and intent to more accurately report transaction attribution.”

Criteo estimates more than two in five transactions may be misattributed without cross-device measurement.

Global e-commerce conversion rates are 1.4 times higher than seen with a device-centric approach. In Indonesia, the representative market for Southeast Asia, observed conversion rates are 1.6 times higher than seen with a device-centric approach, the report finds.

Cross-device measurement reveals that buyer journeys are up to 41 per cent longer than partial-view models indicate.

Smartphones dominant

In Southeast Asia, smartphones are now involved in around 25 per cent of all online retail sales, with a year-on-year increase of 44 per cent, while tablets continue to decline.

On smartphones, add-to-basket and conversion rates increased 49 per cent and 19 per cent year-on-year respectively.

In Indonesia, the representative market for Southeast Asia, cross-device buyers are evenly represented across the three primary purchase devices: smartphones (40 per cent), tablets (44 per cent) and desktops (41 per cent). In addition, 21 per cent of cross-device desktop transactions started on a smartphone while 37 per cent of cross-device smartphone transactions started on a desktop.

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