New data from U.K.-based affiliate network Affiliate Window indicates that mobile activity picked up in October with the approach of the holiday shopping season. The share of traffic coming from mobile across its network of 75,000 affiliate sites -- spanning niche content to large comparison shopping sites -- increased to 13.2% in October from 12.8% in September.
In terms of m-commerce, the proportion of sales through mobile devices (including tablets) reached 10.7% -- exceeding 10% for the first time in 2012 -- up from 9.9% in September. That figure is also more than double the share of sales from mobile in the year-earlier period. Excluding tablets, about 4% of sales in October came through handsets.
Underscoring the dominant role of the iPad in m-commerce, the iPad has accounted for 58% of mobile sales through the first 10 months of the year. A quarter have come from the iPhone, 12% through Android, 3% on BlackBerry and 2%, from other types of devices.
Looking at conversion rates for mobile, they rose on average to 3.2% in October from 2.6% the prior month. As more advertisers continue to develop their site for mobile and add affiliate tracking for mobile-optimized sites, Affiliate Window expects conversion rates to continue rising through year's-end.
BlackBerry has the highest conversion rate, at 6.6% as of October, but that’s partly a result of the platform generating much lower traffic volume than iOS and Android. The iPhone and Android handsets have conversion rates of just over 2%. Android’s share of traffic and sales has grown to about 38% for each in January, up from 31.5%, and 28.5%, respectively, in January.
Android saw a 26.5% increase in sales volume in September, compared to 17% for iPhone. Given the growth of m-commerce on Android devices, Affiliate Window suggested marketers should optimize their mobile presence for Android as well as iOS. In the U.S., comScore estimated more than half of smartphones (52.5%) were Android-based handsets, while 34.3% were iPhones, and 8.4% were BlackBerry phones.