M-Commerce sees steady growth in the performance channel

By Matt Swan

Mobile commerce has seen considerable growth over the past two years. While there has always been talk of ‘the year of the mobile’ there is now significant evidence to suggest this has finally arrived. With the introduction of the iPhone and subsequent smartphone releases, the way that consumers are able to access the internet has changed significantly. With mobile devices becoming increasingly sophisticated and connectivity issues being overcome, consumers are regularly turning to mobile devices. Affiliate Window has been monitoring mobile trends across the network closely over the past couple of years and the growth has been phenomenal.


October saw the share of traffic through mobile devices reach 13.25%. This was up on September’s figure of 12.8%. These figures include tablet devices but focusing purely on mobile handsets, this figure stands at 7.76% of all traffic. This is expected to grow further in the run up to Christmas as consumers turn to mobile devices to look for gift ideas. With the vast amount of traffic that is now coming through mobile devices, it is important that advertisers have a mobile strategy in place to be in a position to convert this traffic.

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Sales through mobile devices (including tablets) broke the 10% barrier for the first time in October. Again, stripping out tablets, this was over 4% through mobile handsets – further highlighting the importance of advertisers having an effective mobile strategy in place for the Christmas peak.

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Conversion Rates

Conversion rates through mobile devices have been improving gradually. Affiliate Window is currently seeing mobile traffic convert at 3.2% with Blackberry leading the way at 6.62%, although it is important to note this is from a much lower volume of traffic. As a comparison, desktop traffic through the network converted at 4.08% in October. As more advertisers develop their offering through mobile, conversion rates will improve further. It is essential that advertisers add affiliate tracking to their mobile optimised sites to ensure they are not missing out on the plethora of opportunities available through the affiliate channel.

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Device Trends

The Apple products are dominating mobile commerce. 58% of all sales for 2012 to date have been generated through the iPad with the iPhone the second most popular device for transacting with 25% of this year’s transactions.

They are also the dominant devices in terms of traffic, although Android handsets are gaining ground. With upgrade options typically involving Android handsets, Android is really the driving force behind smartphone adoption.

The relative growth of Android vs. iPhone through the network has also been examined and Android is experiencing far greater growth rates as a result of this. Sales through Android devices were 26% up on the volumes delivered in September, while the iPhone saw a growth rate of 17.15%

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It is expected the share of traffic and sales through Android devices is set to increase but it is important for advertisers to understand the consumer behavior of each mobile device when implementing strategies. By understanding the devices their audience interacts with, advertisers are able to specifically target these handsets.

As more advertisers embrace mobile commerce through the performance channel, these figures are expected to continue to rise. There are still a number of leading retailers that do not have a mobile optimised version of their site, and even fewer that have affiliate tracking in place.

About the author

Matt Swan is a Client Strategist at leading global affiliate network, Affiliate Window. He works with advertisers to offer strategic advice to optimise campaigns. He also contributes to new business pitches and is an active member of the IAB AMC. Matt is a regular guest blogger on E-Consultancy and the A4U amongst other titles.

About the company

Part of the zanox Group, Affiliate Window is a global performance marketing network with offices in the UK & US. The company develops proprietary technology to assist the performance of both advertisers and publishers. Our platform features social-style dashboards and the industry’s only comprehensive partner directory, allowing users to search and connect with each other in a seamless manner.

Affiliate Window is dedicated to the growth and development of the performance market place, helping to ensure that performance marketing becomes a key part of the marketing activities of our advertisers. We recognise the importance of generating incremental value for our advertisers, while ensuring our publishers have the best possible tools and services to succeed.


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