Smartphones convert three times as many times as many sales as previously thought

By Ross Fobian

New research from ResponseTap shows that over three times as many sales are being made via smartphones than was previously thought.

The discrepancy has arisen because most brands only track sales conversions when they take place within the smartphone browser. In reality, many consumers research brands on a mobile device but then call to purchase.

The ResponseTap data, based on an analysis of more than 450,000 on and offline transactions, show that on average 0.4% of smartphone browsing results in a transaction. But when you include transactions made via a phone call, this figure jumps to 1.3% – over three times higher. The graphic below shows how conversion rates on other devices are similarly impacted by adding in phone sales.


The data is significant as advertisers typically allocate online marketing spend to different devices based on the proportion of sales that can be attributed to them, suggesting that, until now, advertisers have been under-spending on mobile marketing. The graphic below shows how the mix of total sales across devices is impacted by adding in phone sales.


Sales made after a smartphone user has opted to call a business are typically not tracked as it has previously been difficult to attribute a phone-based sale. ResponseTap makes this possible by displaying a unique phone number to every individual person who visits a website on their smartphone. This means that when a customer makes a call it can be matched back to their smartphone web session.

This data emphasises how important it is to track and analyse your telephone calls to fully understand how customers are researching and purchasing your products. Only then can you ensure you are optimising your marketing spend. We know that customers often want to speak to a real person before a purchase, but it’s now clear that this is particularly the case when someone is checking you out on a smartphone. It also shows far more shoppers begin their purchase journey on a smartphone than previously thought. Investing a higher proportion of marketing spend to attract their attention at that point will make sense for many brands.

About the author

Ross Fobian is the CEO and co-founder of ResponseTap, which, five years after launching, has a multi-million pound turnover, offices in Manchester, London and New York and anticipates 200% growth in 2013/14. After launching a string of successful businesses whilst still studying at University, Ross Fobian came up for the idea for ResponseTap over a pint with a friend. Ross recognised that the Internet was transforming the way marketers planned, measured and executed advertising campaigns. Over £4billion is spent on online advertising, helping companies generate sales. But Ross noticed that as many as 90% of sales that started on a web site completed over the phone. This meant marketers – by now used to measuring every click and linking it back to a particular online ad campaign – were effectively flying blind when it came to understanding how sales completing on the phone were generated.

ResponseTap is a leader in call tracking and analytics, helping brands understand the impact their marketing activities are having on inbound calls. Over 1,200 brands and 450 agencies in the UK alone rely on ResponseTap’s market-leading technology to achieve a holistic view of their customers’ journeys. Since 2008, ResponseTap has grown to provide analytics on over 1 million calls per month, with offices in London, Manchester and New York.

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