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Tablet devices accounted for more than a third of conversions, revenue and spend from UK retail paid search on Boxing Day.

The data should come as no real surprise to anyone involved in ecommerce, however it is useful as further evidence of the continued consumer shift towards mobile devices.

It should also be noted that the festive period does present something of an anomaly in terms of site traffic, as data is skewed due to people being away from their work computers and also because tablets and smartphones are a popular Christmas gift.

The data comes from Kenshoo and is based on a representative sample of UK retailers that use the company’s search marketing platform.

The exact findings show that UK retail search advertisers saw their ad revenue double year-on-year, with tablets accounting for:

  • 35% of spend vs. 50% on desktop.
  • 37% of conversions vs. 55% on desktop.
  • 38% of revenue vs. 56% on desktop.

The analysis shows that while search advertising on desktop computers still accounts for the biggest share of ad spend, conversions and revenue, marketers are capitalising on the shift towards smartphones and tablets by adjusting their investment towards those devices, with half of their spend on Boxing Day allocated to mobile.

Other findings include a 1,300% increase in spend on Product Listing Ads (PLAs) which now comprise the default ad format for Google Shopping. Retailers saw a 1,190% increase in clicks and 967% increase in impressions from PLAs, proving the format to be powerful and effective.

John Lewis and Schuh report shift to mobile

A number of major retailers have reported a surge in mobile traffic over the festive period.

John Lewis’ online sales for the five weeks to 28 December 2013 were 22.6% up on last year with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business during this period.

On Christmas Day mobile phones and tablets made up three quarters of John Lewis’ total traffic, overtaking that from desktops by a considerable margin.

Similarly, footwear retailer Schuh found that 39% of Christmas Day traffic came from smartphones compared to 28% from tablet and 33% from desktop.

David Moth

Published 3 January, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

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

1684 more posts from this author

Comments (6)

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Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

One other quick factoid, desktop was 53% Christmas day 2012, so that's a 20% drop over a year.

Who knows where we'll be Christmas 2013...

over 2 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

2014, even... Calendar changes, they're tricky...

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Thanks @Stuart! And I'm sure you won't be the last person to make that calendar error on the Econsultancy blog ;)

over 2 years ago

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Joel Siddall

Another great article, which strengthens the case for responsive eCommerce sites that offer a great user experience for mobile phone and tablet users.

over 2 years ago

Dipesh Shah

Dipesh Shah, Digital Consultant at Data Translators

for one of my clients we saw on boxing day saw 38% increase in traffic YOY with 61% on mobile and 52% on tablet. 8% increase in revenue but with mobile and tablet down. But the conversion funnel is not optimised for mobile or tablet, it is actually quite poor but a working progress. New site launching Q1 so that should change for Christmas 2014

over 2 years ago

Darren Hepburn

Darren Hepburn, Sales Director at NewZapp Email Marketing

The retailers who use our Email Marketing Software have seen a spike in Tablet opens in the last quarter. Some of these are as high as 30% compared to other industry sectors where it remains below 10% a lowly 3rd behind desktop and mobile.

over 2 years ago

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