Mobile outpacing desktop for online shopping

New research by Comscore finds unique visitors to retailers' mobile websites has grown 13% since 2016.

Man using mobile payments online shopping and icon customer network

Over the last two years, a growing number of Canadians have flocked to mobile for online shopping, and today are more likely to use the channel than they are a desktop or laptop, according to a new report by Comscore examining retail trends in Canada.

In its 2019 report, “Trending Now in Canada,” the measurement and analytics company finds that 89% of the Canadian “digital” population visited a retail website every month, with an average of 3.2 hours spent per visitor every month.

The number of unique visitors to retailers’ mobile sites has jumped 13%, while desktop unique visitors have dropped 11%. Moreover, visitors now “spend more time on retail sites with their mobile device than their desktop, perhaps due to a growing preference for product research on-the-go,” according to Comscore.

All eight of the prominent retailers examined by the company (listed below) had 50% mobile-only visitors; six of them experienced double-digit year-over-year growth in desktop only visitors (Comscore does not specify which).


Although the number of Canadians adopting mobile payments has increased over the last two years – with 31% of consumers indicating they have used e-payments or money transfers within the last month, up 3% from 2016 – the average dollars spent via a desktop or laptop continues to increase, making it the “trusted platform for transactions.”

Mobile delivery ordering is also on the rise, with Skip the Dishes leading the pack with the most unique visitors – a number that has grown by 160% year-over-year – among food delivery services, including Uber Eat and Just Eat. Meanwhile, Uber Eats has seen the fastest year-over-year growth, at 227%, among the three players.

In the highly competitive pizza delivery space, Domino’s has the highest mobile reach, but Pizza Pizza saw the highest year-over-year growth (172% compared to Domino’s 46%).