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Mobile Commerce Sales Mount at Desktop’s Expense

11 Jun, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

BALTIMORE – A new study says traffic from both smartphones and tablets continues to grow at the expense of desktops.

Sales via smartphones and tablets through the U.S. and U.K. affiliate networks of Affiliate Window accounted for 19 percent of total Web sales in May 2013 and 30.6 percent in May 2014.

Affiliate Window, a marketing company, says mobile commerce is taking over more and more of online retailing and that desktops are losing favor among online shoppers.

In May 2013, 71.4 percent of total traffic on the affiliate networks stemmed from desktops, 11.4 percent from smartphones, 11.4 percent from tablets and 5.8 percent from other devices (mainly feature phones and game consoles), Affiliate Window says. But in May 2014, desktop traffic was down to 63.7 percent while smartphone traffic was up to 17.4 percent, tablet traffic was up to 14.8 percent and other device traffic was down to 4.1 percent.

Similarly, 62 percent of time spent with online retail in the U.S. in April 2014 occurred on mobile devices, up from 55 percent in July 2013, Web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc. reports.

The Affiliate Window study of May 2014 also found:

  • Twenty-five percent of total revenue came from mobile shoppers
  • Apple iPhones accounted for 75 percent of smartphone traffic and 75.1 percent of smartphone sales, while Android smartphones accounted for 25 percent of traffic and 24.9 percent of sales
  • Apple iPads accounted for 72.6 percent of tablet traffic and 84.1 percent of tablet sales while Android tablets accounted for 27.4 percent of tablet traffic but only 15.9 percent of tablet sales
  • Tablet shoppers converted at a rate of 6 percent while smartphone shoppers converted at a rate of 2.9 percent
  • Twenty-three-thousand sales each day originated from a mobile device: 14,750 on tablets and 8,250 on smartphones; 387 clicks originated from a mobile device every minute, while 343 sales were generated through a smartphone each hour

Matt Swan, client strategist at Affiliate Window, says mobile shoppers on affiliate networks convert at higher rates than mobile shoppers.

“High conversions rates are typical for the types of promotions we see perform well through mobile,” Swan says. “For example, incentivized traffic – cash back, voucher codes – has always converted extremely well and it typically overindexes in mobile commerce. Additionally, the products we see convert well through mobile are typically lower value items.”

Another related study by Branding Brand, a mobile commerce tech provider, says that in May 2013, 64.9 percent of visits were from desktops, 22.4 percent from smartphones and 12.7 percent from tablets. In May 2014, the corresponding figures were 51.8 percent desktop, 33.4 percent smartphone and 14.8 percent tablet.

Similarly, in May 2013, 79.4 percent of orders were desktop, 7.5 percent were smartphone and 13.1 percent were tablet, Branding Brand reports. In May 2014, 72.2 percent of orders were desktop, 13.1 percent smartphone and 14.7 percent tablet. Further, in May 2013, 81.3 percent of revenue came from desktop, 5.0 percent from smartphone and 13.7 percent from tablet. In May 2014, 76.1 percent of revenue stemmed from desktop, 9.3 percent from smartphone and 14.6 percent from tablet.

So mobile’s share of total Web revenue grew 27.8 percent year over year while total mobile revenue grew 111 percent. What’s more, shoppers on smartphones and tablets accounted for 48.2 percent of total traffic in May, up from 46.8 percent in April, Branding Brand says.

“If mobile will be responsible for the majority of traffic, retailers need to stop treating mobile like a minority – traditional desktop rules no longer apply,” says Chris Mason, CEO and co-founder of Branding Brand.

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