There is no escaping the fact that mobile commerce has been experiencing considerable growth. Recent research from Deloitte suggested that mobile devices would influence £3.5bn of retail sales this Christmas.
As well as understanding the anticipated growth of m-commerce, it is also important to recognise the devices that are fuelling this growth.
With targeting capabilities evolving, it is possible to segment audiences based on the device they are visiting through and advertisers are able to capitalise on this through targeted promotions.
At Affiliate Window we have been monitoring mobile activity across the network for over two years now. In this time we have seen exceptional growth in terms of the amount of traffic and sales that have come through mobile devices.
While we have included tablets within our definition of mobile activity, if we strip this out to focus on mobile handsets, our latest monthly stats indicate that traffic through handsets is almost a double digit figure.
In addition to that, just under 5% of all sales generated through the network originated from a mobile handset.
We have been able to look at this data on a more granular level to identify the handsets that are fuelling this growth. From our stats it is evident that the iPhone has typically been the driving force behind mobile commerce with the largest share of our mobile handset sales over the year (currently standing at 58.5% of all sales through handsets).
Android devices have been lagging behind with just under 30% of handset transactions, but it is extremely important that advertisers do not neglect consumers using these devices.
Android is typically the driving force behind the growth of smartphone penetration. While Apple users are commonly early adopters, Android handsets are often the standard option when upgrading.
This means that Android devices are owned by a new generation of users, perhaps those that would have been less inclined to transact using a mobile device. Given the higher barrier to entry in terms of the cost for the iPhone, the users potentially have higher incomes that advertisers are keen to tap in to.
This is certainly the case with average order values that we have seen through our advertiser base, with iPhone users typically spending more. There is perhaps also a sense that iPhone users have fewer reservations when it comes to transacting over a mobile device although this is purely anecdotal.
The graph below shows Android clicks and sales as a percentage against the iPhone.
If we look back to January 2012, traffic through Android made up 30.56% and sales was slightly lower at 28.45%. By November, these figures had increased to 36.37% and 38.47% respectively. As well as being indicative of the share of Android sales increasing, it also highlights that Android conversion rates have been improving at a greater rate.
We are now seeing Android convert at 2.57% while the iPhone is slightly lower at 2.35%.
While advertisers may be seeing greater returns through the iPhone at present, the growth rates in traffic and transactions we have seen across Android have outstripped the growth we have seen from the iPhone, although it is important to note these growth figures are based on a lower initial base.
The graph below indicates the month of month growth in transactions through each of the devices.
Both of the devices have experienced growth in the run up to Christmas with Android showing a 40% growth in November vs. October. This came on the back of a 26.5% growth in October.
While the iPhone is the dominant force at the moment, the number of Android owners is increasing rapidly. As these users become more confident in using their devices to transact rather than to simply browse, we can fully expect the share of Android sales to increase.
It is essential that advertisers and retailers capitalise on this growth.