Mobile commerce through the affiliate channel

2011 is anticipated to be the year of mobile commerce and a strong performance over the Christmas period intimated that mobile commerce was really taking off.

This post firstly examines the rise in affiliate sales that have been seen through mobile devices across the Affiliate Window platform. It then investigates the impact that has been seen across two advertisers on the network that have fully optimised mobile sites and uncovers some interesting findings.

Research carried out across the network was limited to the main handsets and mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android) as activity through other devices such as Blackberry was negligible. Sales and click data was analysed for November 2010 to February 2011.

One of the most startling headlines when analysing the figures was that the proportion of sales driven through mobile devices has more than doubled since late 2010.

At the end of November just 1.3% of sales were driven through a mobile device, by mid February this had increased to 2.8% of all transactions seen across the network.

Sales volume recorded through the Affiliate Window network, with the three mobile platforms’ sales plotted on the left-hand axis:

Nearly 30,000 sales were delivered through mobile devices across the network in January with more than £2m in sales value generated. Click to sale conversion rates were generally lower on mobile devices than general network web traffic, with the notable exception being the iPad.

With such a vast amount of activity being generated through mobile devices advertisers need to sit up and take notice. Without a website fully optimised for mobile, customers looking to purchase on the move may find an inadequate user experience and opt to purchase elsewhere.

More and more advertisers are launching fully optimised mobile sites in recognition of the growth trend. The following data looks at two advertisers who have mobile sites with affiliate tracking in place.

For the first advertiser, 7% of all sales driven through the affiliate channel came through their mobile site. 72% of sales were made within the first day of the cookie being dropped and the longest click to sale period was 19 days.

This highlights that although a lot of customers are transacting quickly due to the convenience of mobile, they are also using mobile devices as a research tool with the transaction occurring further down the line.

When looking at the average transaction values from the first advertiser, it is evident that lower ticket items are being bought through mobile devices.

The average basket value through the advertiser’s mobile site was £25.76 while this was £35.81 through the website. The highest transaction value through the mobile site was £138.95 compared to £438.84 through the website.

Both of these stats point to the convenience associated with transactions through mobile, the ease to add products to a basket while on the move.

The second advertiser has seen just under 2% of all affiliate sales driven through their mobile site. This advertiser has driven 83% of sales within an hour of the initial click. Again, as seen with the first advertiser, the average transaction value through the mobile site is slightly lower.

This was £24.80 through mobile compared to £29.87. There was however a more significant difference in the highest transaction values. The highest transaction through the mobile site was £37.86 compared to highest value of £597.86 through the website.

With a fully optimised mobile site merchants are becoming more accessible to their user base and provide a further route to sale. Consumers searching for brands via their mobile are more likely to purchase through competitors if there is not a mobile site.

Additionally by offering affiliate tracking through a mobile site, advertisers are opening themselves up to a greater publisher base with technologies such as Snapnow being utilised.

With such rapid growth figures it’s clear that advertisers not developing their mobile sites will, in time, be challenged by affiliates who may choose instead to invest their energies promoting competitor retailers who have fully embraced mobile.

via econsultancy

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