During the peak shopping period in 2019, 35% of retail orders were tied to mobile phones, according to CJ Affiliate’s 2020 Holiday Intelligence Report. This reflects a 10% year-on-year increase, showing that mobile is increasingly being used to place orders rather than simply browsing products.
In categories such as clothing and apparel and beauty, mobile phone orders were even higher, at 40%, and 44% for accessories.
This growth of mobile has cut the share of desktop and tablets. However, desktop is still dominant – between 1 November and 31 December 2019, 62% of orders were placed on desktop. Tablets continue to be used by a small minority of shoppers, with only 3% of orders being placed on tablets during the holiday season.
“Mobile phones are chipping away at desktop’s share of orders and we’ll continue to see that again this peak shopping season, perhaps exacerbated by older generations adopting mobiles as a method to keep in touch during the pandemic. To cater to this, advertisers need to be ready and ensure the mobile experience is seamless,” explains CJ Affiliate’s Regional Vice President, Jules Bazley. “Brands need to explore new ways to drive mobile orders, such as through closer partnerships with publishers that have a track record of converting high volumes on mobile.”
While mobile is reducing desktop’s majority share of orders, it has pulled ahead of desktop for clicks. Mobile now accounts for 52% of all clicks – an increase of 9% year-on-year, leaving desktop with a 45% share and tablets with 3%. This confirms mobile phones are the main device for browsing and researching.
Despite this, desktop orders continue to overshadow mobile phone orders on average order value (AOV) and conversion rates. Across CJ Affiliate’s global network, the AOV for desktop was £93 during the 2019 holiday season, whereas mobile phones were 27% lower at £68 per order - even lower than the AOV of tablets (£74). Shoppers were also twice as likely to convert on desktop than mobile – desktop’s conversion rate was 7.7%, compared with mobile’s 3.7%, and tablet’s 5.1%.
“While mobile is growing, desktop remains the preferred method for ordering among shoppers, as proven by the greater order values and conversion rates,” continues Bazley. “However, advertisers shouldn’t overlook the potential disruption that COVID-19 will cause this coming peak shopping season. With more consumers working remotely and potentially on the move less due to pandemic restrictions, this could affect the volume of mobile orders and favour desktop and tablet, since their superior user experience is preferable to mobile for many consumers. Publishers should therefore be prepared to sustain, possibly even increase, their investment in tablets and desktops this year, and not put all their eggs in one basket with mobile.
“We’re approaching one of the most critical holiday seasons in living memory, with retailers competing to make up for lost revenue caused by the pandemic, so to maximise performance and returns marketers and advertisers must bear in mind the shift in device order share, as well as the order values and conversion rates, and ensure affiliate programs satisfy shopper preferences.”