Fab.com: mobile shoppers buy twice as often as web visitors

UPDATED: Design store Fab.com, has seen a huge surge in mobile use since launching mobile apps in October, with 30 percent of traffic now coming in via mobile. But more impressive than that is the fact that mobile visitors are twice as likely to buy compared to visitors to Fab’s desktop website.
That’s the word from CEO Jason Goldberg, who told me Wednesday that mobile has become a major driver of growth for the startup, which only got going in June and now has 1.6 million members. Goldberg said mobile visitors convert to purchases twice as much as desktop web visitors. He said the iPad (s aapl) has been a key component in driving growth and generating revenue, with purchase amounts on the device an order of magnitude higher than on iPhone, Android (s goog) and the web.
“We are investing a lot of resources into mobile and a big eye opener for me is seeing how big the growth has been in mobile usage,” Goldberg said. “The mobile business is over-indexing compared to the web for purchases. That’s across all mobile. And the iPad itself has a significantly higher order value.”
Fab.com has gotten high marks for its mobile apps, but Goldberg said the iPad app isn’t that different from the iPhone app. But he said he will be investing more to take advantage of the interest in shopping by mobile, especially on the iPad. Goldberg noted that users tend to visit the website from work, and while people used to use mobile devices to visit Fab.com from home, they’re doing it on the go much more now with the mobile apps. That means purchases can happen at any time.
Goldberg said that increasingly means Fab has to think like a mobile company, taking further advantage of mobile form factors.
“At some point it will be 50 percent mobile. And you have to think through how to create experiences that are optimized to the devices and the ways users prefer to look at Fab,” he said.

Mobile usage for Fab.com

This is just one company, in a market where most online sales still happen on desktop. But it highlights the opportunities in mobile. In Fab’s case, the dollars are rushing toward mobile at an even faster pace than average.  This past holiday season has been a turning point in mobile commerce, as sales via the iPhone, iPad and Android soared. Ecommerce software developer Ability Commerce said Wednesday that mobile shopping revenues on Android grew by 173 percent compared to last holiday season, while iOS had a 338 percent increase in revenues. The iPad, while generating one-third the traffic of the iPhone and Android, had 33 percent more revenue than both iPhone and Android combined.
It’s just another reminder that consumers are looking toward mobile for shopping, and if you create good experiences for them via smartphones and tablets, it can mean a big lift in purchases and revenue. And it underscores how potent a selling machine the iPad is in particular.
UPDATED: Goldberg just added some more figures on mobile shopping on his blog. He said 16 percent of Fab’s 1.6 million members have now downloaded Fab’s mobile apps but they represent 30 percent of daily traffic to Fab. IOS is dominating Android with 96 percent of mobile app installs, compared to 4 percent for Android with mobile orders and revenue split along the exact same lines.