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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    The Current State of Mobile Conversion Tracking?
    I'm spinning off a post from:
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/merch...ml#post1179646

    where jtoddv says:
    Another item that is still shocking to me at this point is the lack of mobile sales tracking. There are many times I have thought of just stopping the promotion of advertisers that do not track mobile sales. This past holiday season I noticed at least 30% mobile sales with those advertisers that do track mobile. Losing 30% of sales from advertisers who do not track mobile sales might be worse than a poor commission in the end depending on what items and who you are promoting.
    So this is kindof depressing to hear... A little background... My website had a presence on the first round of iPhone apps. As such, I got a crushing amount of traffic. Because I'm a boot strapped company, I had to scramble to get enough hardware up to handle the load. It was an exciting time and I actually quit my day job in expectation of the profits to follow. Mobile profits never materialized and the hardware costs out paced my profits. I had two pathways to go down. Either I could take funding and try to go big, or I could scale back my mobile presence and wait for the market to mature. Given the horrendously bad conversion rates on mobile, I decided I didn't have it in me to work on something so speculative so I scaled back my mobile presence.

    So, fast forward six years and I'm starting to think about mobile again. I'm hoping that monetization has gotten a lot better than the early days. In the beginning, very few affiliate programs tracked properly on mobile. The user experience when buying on the phone was really bad and there were no ad networks.

    I've started working on mobile again, but I keep shelving it to work on more important (e.g. lucrative) ideas.

    So here's my question.... How bad is affiliate conversion tracking on mobile now a days? How about the user experience when shopping on the phone? Do you feel that more users are completing purchases on cell phones?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  3. #2
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if overall 15% of shoppers are buying on mobile at this point, it's higher for quite a few merchants.

    What's up with mobile not tracking? We're on SAS and it seems to track just fine.

  4. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kush@VMInnovations View Post
    What's up with mobile not tracking?
    Oh, there are a ton of merchant induced problems that I have noticed. Here are a couple:

    1) Datafeed contains affiliate links to main website. Mobile user clicks links and cookies might be set for the main website, then a redirect takes place to merchantmobilewebsite.mobi and cookies definitely don't follow along.

    2) Tracking pixel is missing on the mobile checkout page

    3) Mobile website is read only with no ability to purchase! That was an old problem back in 2008 - 2009, hopefully its been fixed for all merchants by now....


    I just looked through some old e-mails and it appears that I was seeing a conversion rate of people that actually clicked through (a much, much smaller subset of total mobile traffic) of about .1% to .2% This was in 2009...
    Last edited by isellstuff; May 7th, 2014 at 01:13 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    One thing I wanted to add, I'm talking cell phones, not tablets. I've always been confused when companies lump tablet stats into mobile. eBay does this a lot when they talk about their big push into mobile and the wonderful results they are seeing. It makes me wonder if eBay is making corporate decisions with inaccurate information.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  6. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Internet Retailer had a great article forecasting that Mobile Sales will be nearly half of eCommerce by 2018.

    More and more merchants are getting it now, fortunately. We take mobile seriously, cause we forecast that 1 in 6 of all clicks last Christmas came through mobile. We even have a team dedicated to it, testing it is part of our launch process, and we have reports for merchants and affiliates of sales, conversions, etc. by device type. As we all know, in this industry, if you don't stay current, you disappear!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  7. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Haven't seen a problem - as mentioned in another thread we were at 27% mobile sales as confirmed by AvantLink's reporting.

    Many merchants on CJ have added mobile tracking as well - 6PM and Zappos, for instance, report whether or not the sale was new/mobile or existing/mobile.

    Are there gaps - I'm sure there are. It's definitely something we look for when joining a merchant...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    Internet Retailer had a great article forecasting that Mobile Sales will be nearly half of eCommerce by 2018.
    Yup, I agree, but this article lumps together tablets and smart phones. I think its undeniable that casual Internet users are frequently choosing tablets over desktops and laptops. My own family has purchased two tablet computers over the last 12 months. I'm the only one still buying devices with keyboards.

    What I would like to know is how do the cell phone conversion rates compare to desktop conversion rates across all merchants in aggregate? 1/10th, 1/5th, 1/4th???
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  9. #8
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Haven't seen a problem - as mentioned in another thread we were at 27% mobile sales as confirmed by AvantLink's reporting.
    Does AvantLink differentiate between tablet and cell phone?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  10. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    AWin put together this infographic which I believe provides some info to help with that question. It also breaks out some details about device by type - tablet vs. smartphone, etc. Ticketing is huge for us, so we did this analysis of that vertical as well.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  12. #10
    Affiliate Network Rep Chad-AvantLink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Does AvantLink differentiate between tablet and cell phone?
    Currently, we don't. Both tablet and phone sales are listed together as one "Mobile Sales" metric.

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  14. #11
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    AWin put together this infographic which I believe provides some info to help with that question. It also breaks out some details about device by type - tablet vs. smartphone, etc. Ticketing is huge for us, so we did this analysis of that vertical as well.
    This is interesting info, thanks.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  15. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I think it was a keynote at AM Days recently where I heard that there is an emerging sub demographic that woman are shopping Sunday nights before going to bed via tablets.

  16. #13
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    Jeannine -- Great infographic. Very helpful.

    Nearly half of my readers are on mobile/tablet now. Like many affiliates, I suffer a bit with customers shopping on one device, then making the purchase later on another, so the tracking is lost (and this happens a lot).

    I'm hoping things will improve as more shoppers become comfortable purchasing on mobile. Of course, often it happens in reverse, with people shopping on their work computers, then using their personal cell phones to make the purchase. Sigh.

  17. #14
    Affiliate Manager deciphermedia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    I think it was a keynote at AM Days recently where I heard that there is an emerging sub demographic that woman are shopping Sunday nights before going to bed via tablets.
    That matches my behavior I'm usually shopping on my phone before bed quite often.

  18. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I'm seeing 7-16% conversion via mobile for my AvantLink merchants. None of the sites are responsive or adaptive.

  19. #16
    Frances Mary Krug
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    Although it's not focused on affiliate marketing and mobile, there is a free webinar scheduled for May 15 by Website Magazine on building effective mobile engagement (includes a freebie report for attendees). It's at 10am PDT | 1pm EDT. Here's the link to register if interested: 5 Strategies for Building Effective Mobile Engagement - Webinars - Website Magazine.


  20. #17
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastsider View Post
    Jeannine -- Great infographic. Very helpful.
    So glad you liked it!
    Quote Originally Posted by coastsider View Post
    Nearly half of my readers are on mobile/tablet now. Like many affiliates, I suffer a bit with customers shopping on one device, then making the purchase later on another, so the tracking is lost (and this happens a lot).

    I'm hoping things will improve as more shoppers become comfortable purchasing on mobile. Of course, often it happens in reverse, with people shopping on their work computers, then using their personal cell phones to make the purchase. Sigh.
    I asked our Strategy Director about this, and he shared some insights. “There are a couple of issues here - the first is affiliate tracking on mobile sites which was a cause for concern for us about three years ago. We embarked on a project to force redirects for merchants who didn’t have tracking in place as well as educate those who could add tracking more quickly and now track in excess of 95% of sales driven via smartphones. Our aim is to get as close to that 100% figure as we can this year. Typically tablets resort to desktop sites and there is a preponderance of responsive sites on both tablets and smartphones that do not need additional tracking added.

    “The second issue is a cross-device one. If a user clicks via an affiliate link on one device and completes on another we know we cannot at present track (assuming no other affiliate links were clicked on the second device or platform). The amount of sales that are going untracked is an unknown so we can’t even begin to estimate how much commission we might otherwise track. Needless to say a resolution for this issue is a business priority and we hope to bring something to market in the future that addresses the cross-device challenge”.

    So stay tuned - we're already working on it! There is hope!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  21. #18
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    Internet Retailer had a great article forecasting that Mobile Sales will be nearly half of eCommerce by 2018.
    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Haven't seen a problem - as mentioned in another thread we were at 27% mobile sales as confirmed by AvantLink's reporting.
    As of today, exactly 50% of my CJ and Amazon reported transactions for May that show an operating system are from mobile.

    That is of course a very, very small sampling, but I think it is indicative of a trend that needs to be addressed by the networks and all merchants.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  23. #19
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    AH,

    Is there an easy report to get OS totals on CJ - short of pulling up the entire month's transactions and counting?

    Did notice one thing while quickly sorting and scanning - that there were NO Windows 8/8.1 users who shopped with us, lol...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  24. #20
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Not that I know of - I just saw some mobile transactions this morning and decided to go through this month's and count them. I was really surprised to see just under 50% from CJ, but I had seen 50%+ from Amazon before.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  26. #21
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    As to Windows 8, I had some in March, but none since.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  28. #22
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I put a "Smart Phone" versus "Tablet" flag in my own tracking. Amazon, AvantLink, and ebay all lump smart phone and tablet under the term "mobile". That's a HUGE flipping mistake, IMHO. If you take the time to study the revenue split, I think you will be surprised....

    I'm not sure why Amazon and eBay would lump the two together. Lipstick on a pig? Hiding declining revenue trends in their on-site advertising due to smart phones?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  29. #23
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    At least CJ does show specifics, i.e. iPhone, Android Jelly Bean, etc.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  30. #24
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    On CJ for May (if my math is correct, lol):

    37% non-PC
    31% were Apple non-PC
    15% were non-Apple non-PC
    46% were Apple Desktop OS
    77% of all sales were from Apple products
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  31. #25
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    On CJ for May (if my math is correct, lol):

    37% non-PC
    31% were Apple non-PC
    15% were non-Apple non-PC
    46% were Apple Desktop OS
    77% of all sales were from Apple products
    What's the smart phone versus tablet split? iPad's for me generate a decent amount of revenue. iPhone's not so much.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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