iPad Driving Email-Based M-Commerce

tabletA new study released Tuesday offers more evidence that tablets -- especially the iPad -- are more m-commerce friendly than smartphones.

The report by email marketing services provider Yesmail Interactive found that 16% of online transactions driven by marketing emails took place on a mobile device. Within mobile, more than half (56%) of purchases originated on a tablet, and virtually all (99%) of the tablet transactions happened on an iPad.

So while Android devices have steadily gained a larger share of the tablet market, they’re still not gaining a bigger share of m-commerce activity -- at least according to this email-based data set.

More than half (52%) of all email opens took place on smartphones in Q3, up 8% from the second quarter. Furthermore, 82% of all email opens and click-throughs occurred on Apple devices, based on Yesmail's analysis of 5 billion marketing emails sent by the company in the third quarter.

Of smartphone purchases coming through email, 59% came from iPhones and the balance from Android phones. The Apple smartphone accounted for 26% of email-driven purchases, and Android handsets, 18%. And in addition to generating the majority of m-commerce, the iPad was also responsible for a quarter of all mobile opens and clicks.

The desktop conversion rate, however, was still more than double that of mobile in the third quarter, at 2.8% versus 1.1%. And the average order size on PCs was still larger than on mobile devices across industries, at $88.32 compared to $78.96. But the gap in the key retail vertical had narrowed to $61 versus $59, underscoring the mobile shift.

That trend was also shown in the incidence of users who increasingly choose a single device to get email. The number of “hybrid” email viewers in the third quarter dropped to 14% from 45% in the prior quarter. Industry categories including B2B, consumer services, financial services, insurance, and retail had a larger proportion of mobile-only than desktop-only email subscribers.

The Yesmail data also suggests that although mobile email still has a lower click-to-open rate, clicks more often lead to purchases. As a result, mobile clicks were valued twice as high at $7.14 compared to $3.26 on the desktop.

During the upcoming holiday season, mobile consumers are expected to turn both to smartphones and tablets for shopping help. A recent Deloitte survey suggests people will rely on their smartphones mainly to find stores, check prices and get product information, while turning to tablets more to shop and browse online.

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