Busting the Chrome and Android Myths

By Rob Yoegel

August 15, 2012

If you're under the impression that Chrome is used more than Internet Explorer, or that Android always dominates website traffic from smartphones, you may want to think again. Or at least take a look at the latest release of the EQ.

EQ (which stands for Ecommerce Quarterly), is a report that contains accessible and actionable analysis of ecommerce data and offers takeaways to help improve your business. As mentioned in a previous post, the EQ highlights specific trends revealed by studying a random sample of more than 100 million online shopping experiences.

Research in EQ2 2012, as indicated by the report title, is tied to events from April - June 2012. Let's look at who it says came out on top regarding mobile traffic and web browser usage.

Myth #1: Chrome is the top challenger to Internet Explorer. StatCounter received a lot of attention earlier this year after suggesting that Chrome had finally overtaken Internet Explorer in browser market share. EQ2 2012 research contradicts StatCounter's findings and reveals that Safari actually saw the largest increase in web browser market share during the second quarter. Although Chrome continues to gain ground, combining the Safari desktop web browser with the mobile version found on iPhones and iPads argues that Safari is the more immediate threat to Internet Explorer.

Perhaps even more interesting is what was uncovered when looking at preferred web browsers during the evening and overnight hours (between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.). Likely because consumers are more free to choose their web browser once they leave the workplace for the day, Safari—not Chrome—has inched ahead of the once-dominant Internet Explorer.Smartphone Market Share (Monetate)

Myth #2: Android devices always drive the most website visits. With more than 8% of all website visits now coming from smartphones, what patterns are emerging? After IDC reported that Android owns almost 60% of smartphone market share, we analyzed the source of smartphone traffic for ecommerce shopping experiences compared to IDC's data, which is based solely on unit shipments.

While many will not dispute that Android has a stranglehold on smartphone website traffic market share, our research tells a different story for ecommerce. In fact, since the fourth quarter of 2011—when Android smartphones sent almost as many visits as iPhones—the iPhone has skyrocketed past Android. Assuming there's a natural lag to consider in terms of purchases and usage, it will be interesting to see if Android market share bounces back throughout the rest of the year.

Here are some other highlights from EQ2 2012:

• Timing is everything: While average order value (AOV) is lower in the first half of the year, increases in AOV start well before the typical holiday shopping season. This data suggests that online businesses cannot wait until the holiday season to launch new website functionality—especially considering 95% of ecommerce businesses actually experienced a decrease in AOV following similar projects, according to a recent Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper commissioned by Monetate.

• Are Mac users bigger spenders? Remember The Wall Street Journal article suggesting that people using Mac computers spend more than visitors using Windows computers? EQ2 2012 looks at AOV by device, referring source, and platform, and reveals that, on average, $14.o8 more is spent by users on Macs compared to Windows computers.

Lastly, we're really excited about the two remaining releases of the EQ this year. Besides taking a look at some holiday shopping trends, the next EQ is going to investigate geography's impact on AOV and other key performance metrics such as add-to-cart and conversion rates. Be sure to download the current release of this unique and exclusive Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ) report today.

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