Affiliate Window’s mobile data is drawn from over 3.5 million network transactions each month across 1,600 advertisers spanning the retail, travel and telecoms sectors. Clients we work with include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, British Telecom and

Working with around half the top 100 retail brands in the UK as well as over 1,000 SMEs allows us to build a comprehensive picture of the mobile landscape.

Strong Q1 performance following a mobile Christmas

The final quarter of 2014 saw some impressive figures – buoyed by a mobile Christmas, and we saw mobile go from strength to strength in the first quarter of the New Year. 46.16% of traffic originated from a mobile device in Q1 2015 which was up from 43.49% the previous quarter and 15% higher than we saw in Q1 2014. Throughout March we saw mobile traffic exceed 50% at weekends on a consistent basis – peaking at 55% on Saturday March 14.

Smartphone traffic continues to dominate and a quarter of all traffic across the network in Q1 originated from a smartphone. This is up from 22.4% last quarter and is two and a half times what we were seeing through smartphones two years ago. Tablet traffic continues to lag behind smartphone and remained consistent with what we saw last quarter at 18.4%. It is evident that mobile traffic growth is being fuelled by smartphones. An increasing number of consumers are browsing on their smartphones, however they are not necessarily transacting – showing that smartphones are primarily a research device.

Switching attention to sales, Q1 was consistent with what we saw in Q4 2014 with the share of sales levelling out at 35.9%. The share of sales through mobile peaked at 42% on Saturday March 28. Despite traffic hitting 55% on March 14, the share of sales was just 40% which highlights the disconnect in conversion between mobile and desktop.

Although smartphones generate the largest share of traffic, it is still tablets that lead the way in terms of sales. Tablets accounted for almost one in five sales in Q1 while smartphones generated one in six despite the share of traffic through smartphones being 7 percentage points above tablets. Again this is indicative of which stage of the customer journey these devices are being used.

Apple vs. Android

Apple continues its dominance over Android with 73.5% of traffic and 74% of sales through the iPhone vs. 23.9% (traffic) and 25.3% (sales) through Android handsets.

Switching our attention to tablets, Android gained significantly on the iPad in terms of traffic. Androids share of traffic increased to 46.3% in Q1 from 39% in Q4 2014. The share of sales through Android tablets has also increased but this was some way behind at 25.6%. Despite browsing, Android users are much less likely to convert than their Apple counterparts.

After strong conversion rates in Q4 2014 which were inflated by Christmas trading it is no surprise to see that conversion rates dropped in Q1. Mobile conversion was down to 3.57% (from 4.57%) while desktop reduced to 5.6% (from 6.3%). 

It was a different story with AOV however with desktop and tablet AOVs both increasing at £88.73 (was £80.84) and £76.53 (was £71.16) respectively. Smartphone AOV decreased though from £54.85 to £51.13 which lowered the overall mobile AOV to £65.

Cross device tracking fuelling additional insights

With the launch of cross device tracking, we are truly starting to understand the role of mobile on customer journeys. While we see a significant volume of traffic through smartphones, the conversion rate (2.9%) is lagging well behind that of desktop (5.6%) and tablet (4.9%). Previously we hadn’t been able to understand the role of smartphones as an influencing device but this is set to change. Cross device tracking is still very much in its infancy, but as more data is gathered we’ll be pushing out additional mobile insight pieces.