More traffic and sales through mobile handsets in March than in the whole of Q1 2012

By Matt Swan

The share of traffic through mobile devices has continued to grow. In March this reached 21.14% – up from 20.68% in February and has more than doubled from last year’s figure of 10.11%. March also saw an increase in the share of traffic through mobile handsets with 12.53% of all traffic coming through handsets. This is up from 12.48% in February and up from 6.31% in March last year.

With consumers increasingly turning to mobile handsets to access the internet, it is extremely important for advertisers to optimise their mobile user journey and ensure that affiliate tracking is added to their mobile sites.

Device breakdown

Traffic through each of the devices over the past four week period remained fairly steady. The iPad was the dominant device with 40-41% of all mobile traffic. Of the handsets, the iPhone continued to dominate with around 33% of traffic each week. Android exceeded 20% in week 12 but remained consistently around 19.5% of mobile traffic. Blackberry dropped to just over 1% of traffic while ‘other’ devices received 5-5.5% of mobile traffic over the four week period.

Conversion Rates

Having remained consistent in January and February, conversion rates through mobile devices dropped in March. This decreased from 3.43% to 3.26%. It is important to note that despite the drop off in conversion rates, the volume of transactions was up on what we had experienced in February. In March we saw a significantly higher volume of clicks through mobile devices while transactions did not grow at the same rate. It is important for advertisers to understand the intention of the visit – it is not necessarily to transact through a mobile device but could be simply to find out product information or the location of the nearest store.

Advertisers with mobile tracking

With such a significant amount of traffic coming through mobile devices, it is essential that advertisers are tracking these sales.

The primary focus for us to date within the mobile arena has been to ensure our advertisers are tracking through mobile devices. With the vast amount of traffic that is now coming through mobile handsets it is essential this is tracked. We have put a number of checks in place to protect affiliates against the loss of commission for mobile sales and we will soon be rolling out additional controls to ensure this loss is minimised.

Looking at the detail, it’s important to understand how mobile sales track essentially in three ways:

– Optimised mobile site complete with affiliate tracking

– Optimised mobile site running off and tracking through the same domain

– No optimised mobile site, so sales track through a standard desktop site

16 of our top 20 revenue drivers for the network are tracking sales through mobile devices in one of these ways and we are working closely with the remaining advertisers in this group to ensure they are tracking through mobile devices.

Of the advertisers that do have a mobile optimised site, almost half of them are tracking sales through mobile handsets. Considering that a large proportion of our advertiser base does not have a mobile optimised site, we estimate that 85% of our advertisers are tracking sales through a mobile device and the majority of the largest revenue drivers for the network are included in this.

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. We develop 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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