December 19, 2013, 10:34 AM

Tablet conversion rate hits 8.7% on affiliate networks

Nearly one in three clicks in November were mobile, Affiliate Window reports. Retailers must offer mobile-optimized sites to convert this traffic, an affiliate expert says.

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Mobile commerce activity on the U.S. and U.K. affiliate networks of Affiliate Window was hopping in November and early December. Nearly one in every three clicks originated from a mobile device, mobile traffic as a percentage of total web traffic peaked at 38.3% the Sunday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), and conversion rates hit record highs of 3.66% on smartphones (the day after Cyber Monday, Dec. 3) and 8.7% on tablets (on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2), Affiliate Window reports.

On Black Friday (Nov. 29), the average order value for purchases on smartphones originating on the affiliate networks peaked at $139.65, almost identical to the networks’ desktop PC average order value, Affiliate Window says. Average order values dropped on both smartphones and desktops during the heavy discounting on Cyber Monday and registered at $107.40 and $117.41, respectively, Affiliate Window says. The average order value on iPad tablets peaked early, on Nov. 3, at $153.79.

“The growth of mobile commerce has accelerated over the past few months and shows no signs of slowing down,” says Matt Swan, client strategist at Affiliate Window. “With almost one in every three clicks originating from a mobile device, it is important that retailers be optimized to be able to convert this traffic. We typically see mobile usage peak on the weekends, so retailers should plan their promotions to maximize mobile exposure accordingly.”

Growth will continue beyond the build-up to Christmas, as millions of consumers likely will receive a smartphone or tablet as a gift and immediately activate their new mobile devices, Swan adds.

“We expect to see record traffic volumes through mobile devices on Christmas Day and Boxing Day,” he says. Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is celebrated in the U.K. and some other countries previously part of the British empire. “Retailers should be prepared for this activity and plan their post-Christmas sales now.”

In November on the affiliate networks, mobile accounted for 25.6% of total web sales (up from 14.8% in January 2013) and 31.5% of total traffic (up from 21.8% in January 2013).

For the month, 72.3% of smartphone sales occurred on Apple Inc. iPhones, 24.5% on Android phones, and a measly 3.2% on smartphones running other mobile operating systems including BlackBerry and Windows Phone, Affiliate Window says. In November, a massive 86.2% of tablet sales occurred on iPads, 11.8% on Android tablets, and 2.0% on tablets running other mobile operating systems. As is generally the case in m-commerce, Apple continues to pound Android when it comes to mobile shopping.

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