Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we've seen this week.

Stats include mobile search spend in the US, Christmas search traffic, mobile email, Q4 retail paid search stats, reserve and collect, and record online sales in Australia.

For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.

Mobile accounted for 18% of US search spend in Q4 2012

  • Smartphones and tablets accounted for almost a fifth (18%) of total US search spend in Q4 2012, according to data from IgnitionOne.
  • Year-on-year figures show that paid search spend on tablets has increased by 163% compared to 87% on smartphones, while clicks have increased by 135% and 29% respectively.
  • The report also found that CPCs have increased by 45% on smartphones, while tablet CPCs have increased by a relatively low 12%. On tablets search ad impressions increased 212% while on smartphones the increase was 20%.

46% of Christmas Day search traffic was on tablets and mobiles

  • According to figures from Adobe's retail customers, nearly half of the traffic (46%) they experienced on Christmas Day came from mobile devices.
  • Interestingly, traffic via mobile on the 25th actually exceeded that of an average shopping day in December. If you take December 1st as a comparison, retailers saw 44% more traffic from tablets and 25% more traffic from smartphones on Christmas Day.
  • Comparing Christmas Eve to Christmas Day retailers saw a 40% increase in tablet traffic, and a 14% increase from a smartphone.

Smartphone owners more likely to read emails than make calls

  • Smartphone owners are more likely to use their device for email than for making phone calls, according to new research by Adobe.
  • The 2013 Digital Publishing Report, which surveyed 1,003 18-54 year olds, found that 79% of smartphone owners use their device for email compared to 78% who use it for making phone calls.
  • Facebook is the third most popular smartphone activity (58%), followed by listening to music (52%) and playing games (48%).
  • Interestingly, just one in five respondents (20%) said they use their device for shopping, however this rises to 44% on tablet.

24% of UK consumers used mobile for Christmas shopping

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of UK consumers used a mobile device for Christmas shopping, according to stats included in our new Christmas 2012 Online Shopping Survey.
  • It revealed that 11% of UK respondents used a smartphone and 13% used a tablet, compared to 77% who shopped using a desktop.
  • US shoppers exhibited largely similar shopping behaviours, though overall were 4% more likely to use a smartphone or tablet for their Christmas shopping.

Paid search CPCs increased by 30% in 2012

  • Christmas proved to be expensive for UK retail paid search marketers, as average CPCs increased by a third (30%) peaking at around £0.35.
  • According to a new report from Kenshoo, the rise was partly fuelled by a 27% increase in ad budgets compared to 2011.
  • There were predictable spikes in search spend at the beginning of December as retailers tried to cash in on the consumer rush to buy gifts in time for Christmas.
  • The report also reveals that paid search impressions increased by 18% during the Christmas period, likely indicating that consumers are using search engines more frequently, however shoppers clicked on 2% fewer ads.

40% of shoppers used reserve and collect over Christmas

  • New ecommerce stats highlight the growing importance of reserve and collect services, with 40% of UK consumers using such services over Christmas.
  • There is a massive difference between the US and UK in take up of ‘reserve and collect’ services. While popular with Brits (40% used them over Christmas), take up in the US is much lower, at 17%.
  • The good news from the survey is that 87% of consumers received their orders when promised, as 59% say they would abandon a retailer which failed to meet its delivery promises.  

Tablets account for 18% of UK paid search clicks

  • Tablets accounted for almost one fifth (18%) of UK paid search clicks for retailers in 2012 compared to 13% on smartphone, according to a new report from Kenshoo.
  • Tablets also delivered 18.3% of conversions and 21.3% of revenue, while smartphones achieved just 3.6% of overall retail conversions from PPC and 3.4% of revenue.
  • Similarly, the conversion rate from smartphone visits is just 1.59% compared to 5.85% on tablet and 6.53% on desktop.

Online sales in Australia reach record high

  • Online sales in Australia reached a record high in the year to November 2012, with Australian consumers spending some $12.6bn online.
  • November proved to be the peak month for internet sales, with online retail surging by 15% and the National Australia Bank Online Sales Index rising to 241 points, up 32 points from October.
  • The National Australia Bank Retail Sales Index showed that when compared with last year, online sales were up 27%.
  • While this is only a small increase on the annual growth of 26% that was seen in October, it is significantly higher than the 20% experienced in November 2011. 

£87 billion to be spent online in 2013

  • Online retail sales exceeded expectations in December, with the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index recording 17.5% year-on-year growth. This represents month-on-month growth of 12% on November 2012. Consumers spent an estimated £78bn at online retail stores in 2012.
  • IMRG and Capgemini are forecasting that the online retail market will grow by 12% in 2013, with consumers spending £87bn online.
  • It was a very strong finish to the year for the online retail sector, with the Index recording growth of 14% for 2012 as a whole.
  • Sales through mobile devices (including tablets) were particularly strong in 2012, with total sales up 304% on 2011.
David Moth

Published 18 January, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (3)


contract sales

Very interesting stats David , this is off course the age of mobiles and smart phones as we can see that most of the shopping , browsing , online activities are being done now on mobile phones and not the laptops and P.Cs so reading this I get an idea that the people that are involved in internet marketing must get their business websites optimized for mobiles because if they don't they are surely going to lose a lot of there sales in 2013. Thanks for such accurate and interesting stats. I myself also deal in 1099 sales.

over 5 years ago


Chris Barcroft

A really useful and insightful look into the development of paid search activity in 2012.

A few things that I would draw out from these figures:

- The significant rise in CPCs is significant in that it highlights the growing competition for positions. It shows how PPC managers need to be increasingly innovative and at the top of the game in order to ensure that ROI from paid search is maintained. Clearly increased CPCs will make it much harder to generate the same levels of ROI.

- Whilst shoppers clicked on 2% fewer ads, the transition to Google Shopping alone could change that stat in 2013.

- It would be useful to see results that separate 'browsing' from 'shopping', as it may give a different idea of how mobile is performing, particularly in relation to tablet owing to the obvious growth in multi-device users.

- I believe that in the coming year mobile could close the gap to some extent on tablet. This is owing to the growth in size of screens on the latest smart phones (e.g. latest Samsung models), and the shrinking of tablets (e.g. iPad Mini).



over 5 years ago



Your article is informative. As far as mobile and tablet optimized content is concerned, this is going to be the future and whoever misses this will miss the sales opportunity and lag behind the competitors who have it optimized for mobile

over 5 years ago

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