Mobile devices account for 31 percent of online conversions, according to a recent study by AOL and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Mobile conversions represent an untapped potential for advertisers, the report says — especially those who currently focus solely on desktop campaigns. Based on data taken from more than 500 billion online ad impressions across multiple devices — tablets, mobile phones and desktop computers — the study is “the industry’s largest cross-platform study conducted to date,” says AOL.
AOL and SEAS measured conversion data from various industries, and found that telecom, retail, travel and auto had the highest mobile conversions. Telecom was the highest, with 37 percent of users using their mobile devices in the purchase of new plans and devices. Thirty-five percent reported making a retail purchase. Twenty-two percent of conversions were related to auto — including activities such as finding a local dealer or requesting more information. Lastly, travel-related conversions accounted for 20 percent, with users booking a hotel, flight or other such expense through mobile usage.
Not so “Mobile” After All
The study attributes the rise of mobile conversion rates to at-home use. Users use a large chunk of their “digital time” on mobile devices: 25 percent, according to the study. Although common sense might suggest that users spend most of their mobile “digital time” outside the home, this is not necessarily true. The study notes that 75 percent of all mobile ad impressions were viewed within the home.
One contributing factor for the increase in mobile conversions is the adoption of the iPad; 65 percent of mobile conversions were attributed to iOS tablets, revealing the iPad’s widespread dominance in the at-home tablet space.
“What we’re learning is that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices in much the same way they do with their computers,” said Chad Gallagher, Director of Mobile, AOL Networks. And when consumers use these devices in the home, the study noted, they more frequently use them to buy products and services.
For marketers, the study’s findings display the cross-platform potential for driving mobile conversions by including more products and services into mobile campaigns. According to AOL, research will continue, and the findings, so far, only represent the first phase of their study.
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