Smartphones and tablets have accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of the clicks on retail paid search ads so far this Christmas, according to data from Kenshoo.

The Kenshoo 2012 UK Online Retail Christmas Shopping Report - Early Edition, indicates that the share of clicks from personal computers is down to 72%, with tablets comprising 15% of all clicks and mobile phones accounting for 13%.

The data also shows that tablets drive the highest average order value at £85.55, followed by smartphone (£77.80) and desktop (£75.93). 

However smartphone conversions lag way behind the other devices at just 1%, compared to 4.99% on tablet and 5.16% on desktop.

Looking at CPCs, desktop is still the most expensive at 32p, closely followed by tablets at 27p while smartphone CPCs are just 16p.

The importance of tablets to ecommerce in terms of order values and conversion rates has been a prominent theme during 2012.

For example, data from Adobe shows that tablet visitors to ecommerce sites spend 21% more than desktop shoppers and twice as much as those using smartphones.

Similarly, the average conversion rate via tablet was 2.3%, compared with 2.5% for desktop, while mobile lags behind on 0.6%.

Furthermore, stats from Affiliate Window show that the iPad delivers an average order value of £69.94 compared to £65 on desktop.

Overall, Kenshoo’s report shows that impression volumes have increased by 17% in 2012 compared to 2011, which means that consumers are still increasing their search engine usage during the Christmas season.

However consumers are clicking on 5% fewer ads, which the report suggests means that they are being more selective about with which brands they interact.

But despite this lower click volume, conversion rates are actually 5% higher than last year.

Kenshoo’s report also shows that average CPCs inflated by 26% in 2012, leading to higher ad budgets as retailers have invested 20% more so far in the 2012 Christmas season compared to 2011.

Kenshoo’s data comes from a representative cross-section of its clients (advertisers and agencies) managing paid search programs for the retail vertical in the UK over the period from 1 November 2011 through to 10 December 2012. 

The Christmas season, as defined for this report, includes the 40-day period leading up to and including 10 December 2012 (Green Monday).

David Moth

Published 18 December, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (5)


David Quaid

This looks good but it might be a bit optimistic!
Just look at the conversions!

Mobile traffic is great but it has to be connected to activities that you can realistically do on a mobile device - like make a call!

If you discounted erroneous mobile traffic (where e-tailers have mobile traffic on but didn't mean to target it) - what would the numbers look like? It suggests to me that e-tailers who need to collect a lot of data should avoid mobile until they solve that problem.

over 5 years ago


Jack Jarvis, Owner at The Website Review Company

Many of my clients have tried holding off on developing a mobile website for a few years now.

I thinks it's time everyone needs to get the ball rolling.

As computer based traffic is now in decline, mobile offers the only real source of growth for many etailers.

over 5 years ago

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

"smartphone conversions lag way behind the other devices at just 1%, compared to 4.99% on tablet and 5.16% on desktop."

Quite a critical point I think.

over 5 years ago


Jack Jarvis, Owner at The Website Review Company

John highlights one of the key points from the article. Tablets and smartphones need to be considered separately.

Tablets seem to cope well with most website allowing for the conversion rate to be maintained, but smartphone just don't convert.

Responsive sites seem to offer a happy medium, but I feel smartphones need to be addressed by etailers.

over 5 years ago


Stacie Levy, Kenshoo

I work for Kenshoo which supplied the data for this story. I think it’s important to reinforce the point that mobile phones are still a critical component of paid search and deserve heavy shares of budget even if they don't convert at the same rate as tablets and computers. The reason being - they have a strong influence on in-store purchases (which is still the majority of all sales transactions) through store location queries and people at the shelf looking for reviews and price comparisons.

over 5 years ago

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