May 15, 2014, 5:01 PM

Tablets convert better than smartphones in the U.K.

IPads lead to 3% more sales than Android tablets on average, Affiliate Window says.

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Tablet conversion rates beat smartphone conversion rates in the United Kingdom. Of the 21,400 sales originating across both devices per day in the country in April, tablets had a conversion rate of 5.88%—down from 6.05% in March—while smartphones had a conversion rate of 2.76%—up slightly from 2.75% in March, according to web marketing firm Affiliate Window. The overall mobile conversion rate last month was 3.83%, compared with 3.92% the month prior.

Despite the decrease in conversion rates, 29.71% of sales on the company’s online network of 1,600 U.K. advertisers and retail brands came from smartphones and tablets last month, up from 27.81% in March, it reports. Because the average order value on mobile was also down month over month—to £69.03 ($116.98) from £69.43 ($117.66) in March—the rise in mobile sales stems from the overall increase in mobile traffic in the country.

“With almost one in three sales now originating from a mobile device, it is evident mobile commerce is going from strength to strength in the U.K.,” says Matt Swan, client strategist at Affiliate Window. “With such an increase it is important to determine how much of this is just the natural switch away from desktop and what proportion is truly incremental.”

To determine that, retailers will need to deploy new technologies and services to track traffic and conversions across devices, he says. That information will allow retailers to optimize their mobile commerce apps and sites appropriately. “With an ever-increasing share of traffic originating from mobile handsets, it is vital that retailers are in a position to convert this traffic,” he says.

In April, 32.49% of affiliate network traffic in the United Kingdom came from a mobile device, up from 30.54% in March, Affiliate Window says. Of that, 15.85% of traffic and 10.41% of mobile sales came from smartphones—up from 14.84% and 9.34% in March, respectively. Tablets accounted for 13.70% of traffic and 18.89% of mobile sales up from 12.92% and 18.17% in March, respectively. The remainder of the mobile traffics came from what the survey deems “other mobile devices.”

“April saw a further increase in the share of traffic and sales we have seen originate from a mobile device,” Swan says. “The share of traffic was up to what we were seeing in the run up to Christmas, with just under 16% of traffic across the network originating from a smartphone.”

While sales increased on both Apple and Android devices in the U.K. last month, Apple continues to dominate, commanding 72.97% of smartphone sales and 82.10% of tablet sales in the country on average in April, versus 25.61% and 15.72% for Android, Affiliate Window says.Shoppers using iPads typically convert 3% more oftenthan those on Android tablets, the company adds. The remaining 1.42% of smartphone sales in the U.K. in April came from Blackberry devices and Windows Phones, Affiliate Window says, without breaking down by those devices further. The remaining 2.81% of tablet sales came from Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle and Kindle Fire devices, it says.

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