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Click rates on mobile ads show consumers shifting how they look for bargains

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Real-time clicks measured over the Christmas period by Adfonic across its global mobile advertising marketplace show that mobile is driving a shift in the way that consumers browse for gifts and hunt for sale bargains.

In line with eBay’s recently dubbed ‘Mobile Sunday’, Adfonic saw mobile clicks for the first half of the month peak on 12th December with a 400% increase compared to the beginning of the month. Reflecting a shift from the peak second Monday of December that we’re used to seeing online, this spike in mobile activity is likely to be down to consumers using smartphone devices to research product information and uncover bargains as they browse the shops.

Adfonic’s figures show click volumes began to build again from 21st before reaching an overall peak for the month on Boxing Day, which saw a further 26% increase over Mobile Sunday. Whilst several retailers have reported a slower than expected start to the January sales on the high street, mobile has bucked the trend as consumers turn to their mobile devices to hunt out bargains in the sales. 

Christmas Day itself was the second biggest day in December for mobile clicks across the Adfonic marketplace; highlighting the trend for an even earlier start to online sales, combined with the popularity of smartphones and tablets as must-have Christmas presents for 2010. 

Mobile was widely expected to drive an increase in online sales this Christmas; The IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) predicted that some 20% of the £6.4 billion expected to be spent online would be via mobile and the MMA estimated that 67% of consumers would use mobile devices to search and pay for Christmas gifts.

But these figures reflect only part of the impact that increasing smartphone and tablet adoption is having on overall commerce trends says Victor Malachard, CEO at Adfonic: “In addition to armchair shopping, as savvy bargain hunters use their mobiles to research product information and find the best prices as they shop, we’re starting to see the extent to which mobile is shaping overall consumer purchase decisions. As the wealth of information constantly available to consumers via their smartphone devices grows, mobile is proving to be a key component in driving commerce both on mobile sites and apps as well as on the high street.” 

Looking more closely hour-by-hour, Adfonic’s detailed real-time reporting shows that the peak time for mobile clicks in the UK over the Christmas celebrations was between 9-10pm on Boxing Day; while the Christmas Day high was between 5-6pm. With mobile games proving the most popular apps clicked on during Christmas day, could this suggest that mobile surfing has replaced charades as the favourite post-lunch pastime?

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