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Mobile hits 40% of online shopper traffic in a December that cemented mobile’s role in retail

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We all knew it was going to be a mobile Christmas, but the latest monthly data on mobile traffic from Affiliate Window shows that, on average across December, mobile retail traffic averaged around 31% of online traffic – with some spectacular peaks of 39.35% on Boxing day and 37.3% on Christmas day. Mobile traffic levels were up to 35% in week commencing 22 December.

And this is turning into sales. As with traffic, Affiliate Window saw an increase in share of sales through mobile in December – again pointing to a mobile Christmas that was widely predicted. 27.09% of sales originated from a mobile device in December, with the week commencing 22 December seeing mobile sales peak at 31.33%, indicating a strong performance over Christmas.

As with traffic, the share of mobile sales peaked on Boxing Day (33.54%) with Christmas Day just behind (33.19%). With a significant volume of mobile devices reported as being given as presents, it is not surprise to see a strong mobile performance over this period. Christmas Day and Boxing Day both outperformed each weekend. Interestingly, these peaks on holiday days – Christmas and Boxing Day – are indicative of a growing trend that sees mobile shopping traffic spike each week at the weekend, Affiliate Window’s stats show. This is something that has been growing all year, according to the company and is one of the key trends for m-retail in 2014.

As has become increasingly predictable over the past few months, tablets dominate when it comes to sales. Given the differences in how handsets and tablets are used to browse the internet and interact with advertisers sites it is not surprising to see tablets dominate the share of sales.

December saw the share of tablet sales increase to 18.26% from 16.99% in November. The share of handset sales also increased but to a lesser extent (up to 8.56% from 8.33%). Tablet sales peaked in week commencing 22 December

with 21.31%.

When breaking these stats down daily it becomes increasingly evident it was tablets driving the increase in the share of mobile sales. This peaked on Boxing Day with 23.83% of sales originating from a tablet. The final two days of December saw tablets share of sales drop below 20% for the first time since 23 December.

Despite this clear shift towards mobile, the stats still show a typically higher average order value (AOV) through desktop than mobile. AOV dropped off in December with retailers quick to launch their discounted offers to benefit from early Christmas shoppers, and also Boxing Day sales. AOV through mobile peaked at £85.95 on Boxing Day while it surpassed non-mobile AOV on Christmas Day – £84.67 verses £82.01. Non mobile peaked on 27 December at £89.61.

It appears that consumers were looking to treat themselves with larger purchases in the post Christmas sales.

Affiliate Window has also managed to break this down further by device type. Again it is evident that the overall mobile AOV is lower due to the average order values of mobile handsets. Tablet and desktop have followed similar trends throughout the month and have been fairly even. While Tablet AOV has been slightly behind desktop for most weeks of December, week commencing 22 December saw tablet AOV overtake desktop.

Looking at the daily stats, smartphone AOV is consistently below that of tablet and desktop, although smartphone has a noticeable peak on Christmas Day with it reaching £77.77. Tablet and Desktop both peaked a day later with £89.99 and £89.46 respectively.

When breaking the AOV down by handset, it is evident that iPhone users are not only converting at a greater rate, they are also spending more when they do. Looking at the weekly breakdown there is a clear pattern in the device trends. iPhone users are spending the most, followed by Android and then Blackberry with Windows Phone users significantly behind.

When breaking this down by day this trend is typically followed, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Blackberry has the highest AOV for any one day with £107.07 on 22 December. It must be noted that this was from a significantly lower volume of sales though which will have skewed the data.

AOV through the iPhone peaked on Boxing Day at £81.41, while Android saw a peak earlier in the month – £80.45 on 17th December.

As with handsets, Apple has consistently higher AOV through tablet devices too. Each of the devices had a drop off in December but as mentioned previously, this is likely to be a result of heavy discounting in the build up to Christmas. Looking at the daily data, AOV for iPad and Android peaked post Christmas while Kindle peaked earlier in the month. The iPad peaked at £93.89 on Boxing Day while Android was a day later with £74.05.

As with traffic, Affiliate Window also saw the share of sales through Android smartphones increase in December with a 26.06% share. The share of Android sales increased week on week throughout December and the final three days of December saw 28.39% of smartphone sales through an Android device.

The share of Android sales increased after Christmas, peaking at 29.41% on 31 December. This is again indicative that Android devices were popular Christmas

gifts.

Apple is even more dominant in terms of sales than traffic with typically around 85% of tablet sales originating from the iPad. This is indicative that the iPad has a superior conversion rate to Android tablets as we have seen.

Android tablet sales increase in December to 12.69% and for the final three days of December this was up to 14.39%. Despite traffic through Android tablets reaching up to 25%, the share of sales is still considerably lower. Android users are browsing but are less likely to purchase than iPad users.

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