Rise In Mobile Shows Marketers Why They Must Rethink Ad Targeting

Consumer holiday shopping trends revealed this week point to an increase in purchases through mobile channels, specifically smartphones. Mobile devices -- smartphones and tablets -- surpassed desktop in terms of visits to Web sites, contributing up to 55%.

Still, NetElixir reported that purchases through desktops remains dominant, contributing nearly 60% to purchase share.

Udayan Bose, NetElixir founder, said there are several reasons why marketers need to reconsider the way they target consumers as more move to purchase from retailers on mobile devices. For starters, he said, Google's new product listing advertising (PLA) format introduced this year has been a success. PLAs as a percentage of total sales are higher for mobile than for desktop.

"Near me" searches are "booming," he said, which provides an "enormous opportunity" to target local consumers in and by physical stores. "We see YouTube ads having a bigger impact this year," especially on mobile devices, he said. "We also have seen a tremendous positive impact of removal of right hand side rail ads this holiday season. ... If your ad is in top four you are making a lot more that you did last year."

Adobe Digital Insights released similar data. ADI estimates that mobile drove 47% of visits to retail Web sites.



Purchases through smartphones and tablets started off strong early in the day Monday, but slowed into the evening. Revenue from mobile rose 34% year over year (YoY) to $1.07 billion. At the end of the day mobile revenue tracked at $130 million less than Black Friday.

Conversions were well above holiday averages, with smartphones at 2.8%, tablets at 5.1% and desktops at 6.3%, compared to holiday averages of 1.3%, 2.9% and 3.2%, respectively, according to ADI. The analysts reported that the average order value (AOV) on iOS smartphones came in at $141, slightly higher than Android smartphones at $128.

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