Mobile Affiliate Marketing What Gives

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Everyone knows mobile has cracked it. It’s now a proven sales and marketing channel but within publisher marketing what does that currently look like? Where do the sales come from and what converts best?

By looking at the range of sales on the Awin network we’re now able to offer some insight about how mobile traffic is performing. First a little bit of context about the information. For the purpose of this article the data is limited to the main handsets and mobile devices driving sales; the iPad, iPhone and Android phones. While we see the transactions generated by devices such as the Blackberry, the number of sales we’re currently recording as a network is so low as to be negligible.

The data runs across the crucial Christmas trading period and into the New Year, in fact it takes into account over ten weeks worth of sales and click data from late November 2010 to mid February 2011.

Crunching the millions of sales recorded across the entire network, one of most startling headlines that emerges is that as a proportion of all sales from mobile devices transactions have more than doubled since late 2010. At the end of November just 1.3% of sales originated from a mobile device. On 18th December mobile sales hit more than 2% for the first time, as on the move, panicked Christmas shoppers possibly turned to their mobiles for last minute gifts.

While sales from mobile devices haven’t quite cracked the 3% mark yet, they’re not far off. On 13th February 2.8% of transactions were identified as mobile sales with no day in February so far dipping below the 2% mark.

Percentage of sales being driven through mobile devices and the network as a whole. The mobile devices are plotted on the left hand axis, the general network sales in the shaded block is on the right.

Aside from overall sales volumes the breakdown of mobile devices also throws up some interesting data.

On Christmas Day for the very first time the iPad overtook the iPhone for sale volumes. It seems reasonable to assume new iPad users were testing out the devices on Christmas Day and over the whole holiday period as the iPhone lagged behind before reasserting itself in the first week of January. Combined, the two devices comfortably and consistently account for around 80% of the sales designated as having tracked through a mobile device.

That’s not to say sales from Android handsets are negligible. In fact the rate of growth has outstripped the two Apple devices, trebling in three months despite lagging considerably in overall sale volume.

Finally it’s worth having a look at conversions. This again throws up some interesting statistics. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that due to its tablet form the iPad converts best. But it also far outstrips the overall network average by a click to sale conversion rate 40% higher and double that of all the mobiles analysed.

Click to sale conversion rates of the top revenue generating mobile devices plotted against the network average.

In January alone nearly 30,000 sales totalling more than £2m in revenue were tracked to mobile devices. When 2011 growth in both online and mobile sales is factored in we can comfortably assume advertisers will start to sit up and take notice, especially when many have sites that offer poor and inadequate navigability through handsets. With the advent of dedicated mobile sites (Marks and Spencer and John Lewis were two of our high profile advertisers who launched this functionality in 2010) so we can expect increased mobile focus. But there’s one key ingredient missing: tracking. For dedicated mobile sites there is no guarantee they will be able to track publisher sales unless their tracking is upgraded. As more and more advertisers recognise the value in having dedicated mobile sites so networks and other third parties need to ensure all tracking options are covered.

The statistics don’t lie though and the message is clear; ignore the power and possibility of publisher s to drive sales and you risk missing out on a rapidly growing slice of the market.

View this article on Affiliates4U

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