3 Reasons Why Cross-Device Shopping is Costing You More Than You Think

Updated on September 26, 2023

Cross-device is old news. Now that three-quarters of Americans own smartphones and 80% own computers, consumers spend more time than ever hopping from one device to the other.

To marketers, however, the real question isn’t about whether cross-device shopping exists. You know it does, and you know it’s here to stay. It’s about how big it really is and how much it’s costing you. What are your old-school, single-screen analytics missing? How many sales are you losing because of those pesky device-hopping shoppers?

At Criteo, we decided to stop guessing and just do the math. We analyzed 5 million purchasing journeys from over a thousand U.S. retailers to get a real-world view of just how impactful cross-device shopping really is.

What we learned is that cross-device is big. Scratch that: it’s huge. And it’s probably costing you more than you realize. Here’s why:

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  1. Cross-device impacts 31% of your sales.

“I’m okay with missing my revenue targets by 31%,” said no CMO ever. Three out of 10 purchasing journeys in the U.S. involve multiple devices — and there’s a good chance you’re attributing these sales to the wrong device or channel. If you think most of your sales are coming from one device, when in reality your customers are touching several along the way, you’re probably pouring too much money into one marketing channel and not nearly enough into another. In today’s data-driven, hyper-competitive retail landscape, you can’t afford to be making those kinds of errors.

  1. No retail sector or country is exempt.

Our data reveals that no industry or sector is exempt: people buy across devices all day every day for everything all over the world. All retail sub-sectors, including big-ticket ones like Home Goods, see at least 20% of their sales involve multiple devices prior to purchase. And if you thought operating outside the U.S. could give you some respite, think again. 36% of transactions in the U.K. and 33% in Germany involve multiple devices.

  1. You’re showing the wrong ads to shoppers during 41% of their purchasing journey.

Our analysis reveals that purchasing paths are actually 41% longer than your current analytics indicate. On average, users convert after 4.1 visits to your website. However, if you look through the opaque lens of single-device analytics, you only see 2.9 visits, 41% fewer than you’re actually getting. When you lose track of users across devices, you’re likely to send them advertising messages that don’t connect with where they’re sitting in the purchase process. By showing irrelevant ads you risk losing those sales to competitors with superior tracking and targeting capabilities.

Cross-device shopping is happening, and it may already be costing you. Luckily, help is on the way. Cross-device tracking eliminates noise in your data by linking users to their many devices. This enables smarter targeting, allowing you to optimize your budget across channels. If you’re serious about capturing every last one of your sales, it’s time to adopt a solution.

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