Nearly one-third of online conversions come from mobile devices, AOL says.
Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
Consumers using mobile devices to make purchases, or to take a step toward purchasing, now account for 31% of total web conversions, a new study from AOL and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences finds. The findings are based on analytics derived from more than 500 billion online ad impressions and 100 million of what the study calls “conversion events” across web-connected devices, including mobile phones, desktop computers and tablets. A conversion event might include booking a trip on a travel site or purchasing a sweater from an online retailer. The study covered travel, retail, auto and telecom.
Tablets, and more specifically the iPad, convert the best among mobile devices, the study finds. 65% of mobile conversions occurred on tablets, with 85% of tablet conversions coming from the iPad. Android and iOS devices each accounted for roughly 50% of purchasing-related actions on smartphones.
Consumers aren’t just using their mobile devices while on the go, but at home as well. According to the research, consumers now spend 25% of their total digital time at home on tablets or mobile phones. Moreover, 75% of all mobile ad impressions are viewed within the home.
“What we’re learning is that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices in much the same way they do with their computers when they’re at home,” says Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at AOL Networks. “And, with a quarter of all digital time spent on smartphones and tablets at home, marketers are realizing that they can’t afford to run desktop-only campaigns anymore.” Gallagher says the results of the study point to an untapped opportunity to drive conversions for a much wider array of products and services via mobile.
"We utilized a bunch of different data sources to create a predictive model,” Gallagher says. “We have access to time of day data, along with the data set of commercial or residential location. We even followed a group of users around across a period of a week to see where and how they spent their time."
This just-released data is the first part of a larger study by AOL and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The next phase will focus on better understanding cross-device behavior, with the ultimate goal of understanding how behavior on one device impacts conversion rates on another, the groups say.
Another recent report from mobile commerce technology provider Branding Brand finds that from July 2012 to July 2013, the percentage of web sales from smartphones at 18 of its retailer clients increased 59.2% from 2.7% to 4.3%. The percentage of web sales from tablets increased 34.7% from 9.5% to 12.8%. And the percentage of web sales from non-mobile computers decreased 5.6% from 87.8% to 82.9%.