September 23rd, 2012 | 3 MIN READ

Summer Mobile Commerce Traffic Trends Post-Mortem

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

What happens to mobile traffic, sales and conversions over the summer months? AffiliateWindow has done the dirty work of collecting mobile traffic, sales and conversion data across its network of over 1600 advertisers, and shared some interesting trends from July and August 2012. (If you're suffering from Infographic Fatigue, never fear. Today's data is presented textually, with some trusty bar graphs thrown in.)

Mobile traffic trends

  • 13.35% of all traffic in August came from mobile devices, 8% from mobile handsets and smartphones.

  • The drop in mobile traffic share in July was due to a spike in desktop traffic, rather than fewer mobile visits.
  • Mobile traffic is trending 4 to 5 times higher in 2012 compared to 2011.
  • According to 2011 trends, December 2012 mobile traffic could potentially be double that of August, or better.

Most popular devices

  • Traffic from Android devices is growing mightily, peaking at 20.17% of all devices in week 35. However, it's still around half of iPad's typical share of ~40% each week.

  • iPhone traffic peaked at 37.08% in week 34, and combined with iPad, Apple still dominates mobile web traffic.

Mobile sales

  • Sales dipped slightly in July compared to August in terms of percentage of all sales driven by mobile devices, but did not drop below 9%. With tablets stripped out, 3.87% were driven through mobile handsets.

  • In the past 4 weeks, Android share of sales has held steady, but not grown comparable to other devices, indicating a drop-off in conversion rate through Droid devices. iPhone was almost double Android sales during this period.
  • iPad drives the lion's share of mobile sales, but slipped below its usual ~60%.

Percentage of sales by device:

  • 57% iPad
  • 27% iPhone
  • 12% Android
  • 3% Blackberry
  • 2% Other

Mobile conversion rates

  • Conversion rates slumped in August from 3.14% in July to 2.84%.

  • Compared to desktop, the chart below shows various devices' conversion rates from this year

  • Desktop traffic dropped in July, and picked up in August. Both months were below peaks above 4.5% seen earlier this year.
  • Blackberry won the biggest improvement in conversion rate. At 4.42%, it was the highest converting device in August.

Why should you care? We're all waiting until mobile commerce proves itself before really gassing up on mobile shopping tools and optimization. The upward trend signals this is an area worth paying attention to. It's interesting to note the shift in mobile commerce activity in the summer months and statutory holidays. Coupon site Dealnews observed an inverse relationship between traffic from desktop and mobile devices on actual summer holidays (Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day), mostly from (surprise, surprise) iPad users. This data is presented in infographic form. Check out your own analytics to see if the trend appears for your own site. It may impact how you plan your email campaigns (design mobile friendly content with simple landing pages on holidays), promotions and mobile content strategies.

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