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With 51% of mobile users in the UK having already interacted with m-commerce, there is significant opportunity for advertisers who embrace the channel.

Previously, I investigated the development of mobile commerce through the affiliate channel, analysing the data for the first quarter of 2011.

As we enter the third quarter, it provides an opportunity to study the growth trends demonstrated throughout the second quarter.

The data delves into the percentage of all sales through Affiliate Window that has come through a mobile device.

It also examines which mobile devices are effective at driving traffic and delivering sales, as well as comparing their conversion rates across the network as a whole.

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By the end of the first quarter, the percentage of sales through mobile devices was just under 3% of the total sales delivered through the network. This had almost doubled from the figure that was seen in December 2010.

Throughout Q1 there has been a steady growth in sales through mobile devices. By the end of June, the percentage of sales had increased further to nearly 4%.

 

(% of total Affiliate Window sales coming through mobile devices)

Looking at the trend in devices, the iPhone is still the greatest driver of sales, accounting for almost 40% of total sales through mobile devices.

However, there has been a drop in sales through the iPhone, which has seen an increase in the share delivered through the iPad (34% by end of Q2) and Android devices as they gain market share.

There has also been an increase in the percentage of sales through Blackberry, accounting for almost 10% of mobile sales. Aside from the main mobile devices, ‘other’ has remained steady with around a 5% share month on month.

(% of mobile sales through each mobile device)

Traffic has also shown an increase in Q2 with over 3% of the total traffic coming through mobile devices for the first time in June.

Delving further into the traffic stats, it is possible to see which mobile devices consumers are using to browse advertiser sites.

The traffic stats mirror the sales trends, with the share of traffic seen through the iPhone declining at the expense of other mobile devices, most notably the iPad.

However, the percentage base of iPhone traffic is a lot higher than that of sales (45% vs 38%) indicating the iPad is a stronger converter of traffic than the iPhone.

(% of mobile traffic through each mobile device)

Looking at the conversion rate of each of the devices this is again evident. The conversion rate experienced through the iPad is significantly higher than all other mobile devices and the conversion rate seen through non-mobile devices.

This peaked at 4% in December and has been steady at just above a 3.5% conversion rate.

The conversion rates of other mobile devices are below that of the iPad. As the iPad is more akin to a laptop it makes purchasing more convenient. The lower conversion rates experienced by other mobile devices are likely to be because they are more often used in the research phase.

It is interesting to note however that each of the major mobile devices has demonstrated a conversion rate above and beyond that of non-mobile devices throughout Q2.

In December 2010, conversion rates were around 1.5%. By the end of Q2, each of the devices analysed were comfortably converting at over 2%.

As m-commerce continues to develop, an increasing number of advertisers are developing dedicated mobile sites – making it easier to convert users that are visiting them through mobile devices.

(Conversion rates through Affiliate Window)

There is significant opportunity for advertisers to embrace mobile commerce through the performance channel.

With the number of smart phone users set to double to over 92m in the coming year, according to Flurry, mobile commerce will experience excessive growth.

More and more advertisers are embracing the growth and have mobile commerce strategies in place. With an increasing number of affiliates having their own mobile apps and dedicated mobile sites, they should be considered an integrated part of mobile strategies.

In order to engage with affiliates through mobile, it is essential to ensure that affiliate tracking is added to mobile sites. Without this, advertisers could be missing out on a wealth of additional opportunities. 

Matt Swan

Published 14 July, 2011 by Matt Swan

Matt Swan is Client Strategist at Affiliate Window and a contributor to Econsultancy.

25 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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jason @ mobile website design

Obviously good news for all us mobile marketeers, but it's important for the consumer to be able to read what he's getting rather than have to check it out at home on his/her PC

about 5 years ago

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Hannah Keys

Nice piece, interesting stats showing some exciting growth all round. I asked our CEO her thoughts on affiliate marketing in mobile as it stands (she has a background in mobile, currently in affiliate marketing), and put together her opinions in a blog post (linked on my name). interested to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,
Hannah

about 5 years ago

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Innes

I think this will be the major growth area of affiliate marketing within the rest of the year. It's another avenue to embrace and for advertisers to gain exposure from within. Like Jason has mentioned though, it will be essential for the advertising to be clear and legible.

about 5 years ago

Matt Swan

Matt Swan, Head of Business Intelligence at Affiliate Window

Thanks for the feedback.

@Hannah – thanks for the follow up post. It was interesting to hear Alicia’s thoughts on the growth of mobile. I have left a response there for you too.

For me, the challenge we face is in educating advertisers on the value of mobile commerce. As Jason and Innes point out, it is important that sites are clear and legible for consumers to be able to transact on their mobile devices rather than waiting to complete the transaction on a PC.

Where advertisers have a dedicated mobile site, we have seen conversion rates improve and also the percentage of their sales coming through mobile devices being as high as 7%.

I am going to be keeping a close eye on our mobile stats and will be posting an update in due course. It is an exciting growth area and one with enormous potential.

Thanks,
Matt

about 5 years ago

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Damian Hanson (One iota Ltd)

Nice report, we have recently integrated Affiliate Window tracking into our mobile commerce clients sites and its clear that affiliate networks themselves need to work on enhancing this mobile traffic to make it convert.
Getting this right is a win win situation in the affiliate world.

about 5 years ago

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Charles

Nice info. I didn't know mobile sales were growing at such a rapid rate. Are most of the sales coming from affiliate apps or straight from a normal e-commerce site? I assume it is apps but am not sure, Thanks.

about 5 years ago

Matt Swan

Matt Swan, Head of Business Intelligence at Affiliate Window

Hi Charles,

We are seeing sales through both applications and standard e-commerce sites. With some of the largest affiliates now launching dedicated apps we are beginning to see an increased amount of sales coming through applications.

In order to be featured in an affiliate’s app, it is essential that advertisers are adding affiliate tracking to their mobile sites. If there is no tracking in place, they will not be featured within the app and could lose out on a considerable amount of traffic and ultimately sales.

It is also interesting to note that a number of sales through mobile devices are coming through affiliate sites that don’t necessarily have a mobile dedicated site or an app. Consumers are starting to visit sites that they visit on their PCs through mobile devices and are transacting through mobile.

As illustrated in the article, tablet devices are converting at the greatest rate as they don’t necessarily have to revert to a mobile version of the site to enhance usability.

The fact that a significant volume of sales are coming through standard affiliate sites highlights the size of the opportunity. More consumers are turning to mobile to make purchases and advertisers and affiliates alike should capitalise on the growth trend.

about 5 years ago

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Maurice Bernier

There is no doubt that mobile is the wave of the future for online marketers. All these stats do is reinforce that mobile sites are the way to go if you want to remain compatible. This is something I've been trying to research on my own but, having this information will definitely save me time on development.

Thanks for that Matt!

Maurice

about 5 years ago

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