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Mobile commerce has witnessed staggering growth over the past few years.
We have been monitoring this activity for the past five years and in that time we have seen the share of mobile traffic increase from just 2%, to in excess of 50% of clicks through a tablet or smartphone.
With the rise of cross device tracking, it is perhaps timely to consider the true length of customer journeys and whether as a result, cookie lengths should be revisited.
Customer journeys are becoming increasingly complex.
Not only are they across multiple channels with multiple touch-points, they are also spanning multiple devices.
With the staggering mobile growth that had been witnessed throughout 2013, it was widely predicted that consumers would turn to their mobile devices over the Christmas period.
John Lewis made a bold prediction pre-Christmas that it would see its share of mobile traffic exceed desktop for the first time on Christmas Day and they subsequently reported that these expectations were exceeded, with two thirds of traffic originating from a mobile device.
John Lewis was not the only advertiser that witnessed exceptional mobile performance, with a number of leading retailers also reporting on their mobile activity over the festive period.
A few months ago we received an interesting piece of research from OC&C Strategy consultants which investigated how UK retailers are well placed to outperform their overseas counterparts in the battle for online supremacy.
It was estimated by 2020 there would be an incredible sevenfold increase in non UK sales.
Within the report, the ‘jewels of Britain’s retail e-mpire’ were highlighted. This was based on the volume of consumer searches from international territories.
A number of advertisers across the network were included on this list so we decided to take a look and see how the affiliate channel was aiding internationalisation in the ecommerce market.
With mobile commerce continuing to gather pace through the performance channel, it has been interesting to look back across the past few weeks to analyse the role mobile played over the Easter bank holiday.
With our March stats indicating that traffic through mobile devices reached 21.1% while sales were at 14.2%, it was interesting to see the impact of a long weekend on mobile usage.
We have traditionally seen that consumers turn to mobile devices at weekends. This is not particularly surprising when we consider that office workers step away from their desktops and instead use mobile devices to access the internet.
Over the past two years we have witnessed traffic through mobile devices increase from 2% to 19% of total network clicks.
If we exclude tablet devices from this equation, traffic through mobile handsets has grown from 1.8% to 11%.
With consumers increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet, it becomes of paramount importance to ensure that the mobile user journey is optimised for this experience.
With the festive break all but a distant memory, we have taken the opportunity to look back at our stats across the network for the run up to Christmas as well as the post Christmas sales.
As a company running affiliate campaigns for around half of the UK’s largest retailers as well as over 1,000 SMEs, we are able to interrogate our data to provide some insights into general retail trends over the Christmas and New Year period.
There were a number of predictions and subsequently reports of the largest online shopping days and in this post we are able to look across our advertiser base to identify the peak trading periods.
With consumer behavior shifting and mobile commerce playing a more prominent role, we also look at the device trends during this time.
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.
With consumer behaviour and shopping habits continually evolving, coupled with the increase in smartphone penetration, more and more consumers are accessing the internet through mobile devices.
This is something that we have been monitoring closely at Affiliate Window for the past 18 months. Back in December 2010 we saw traffic through mobile devices account for 2.4% of all network traffic and 1.7% of all sales.
Fast forward to March 2012 and these figures have grown considerably with 10% of traffic and 6.6% of sales coming through mobile devices.
As the dust settles from the frantic Christmas and New Year sales trading season I’m now able to provide a definitive account of how our advertisers’ affiliate campaigns performed throughout December.
Having previously looked at the impact of Cyber and Manic Monday on the affiliate channel we can trace December’s performance, compare it with 2010’s and also split out mobile data to see how it compared with traditional desktop transactions.
Stats from Hitwise indicated that Boxing Day was the biggest online shopping day in terms of traffic so it is also possible to see if that was reflected across the affiliate channel.
Advertisers will have a set of key metrics which they measure the success of their campaign against. Typical metrics include but are not exclusive to: new vs. existing customer %, average basket values and lifetime value of customers.
These metrics will vary from advertiser to advertiser to be in line with their core strategic objectives.