Becky Lawson

Mobile affiliate activity flourishes in 2015

The world of mobile technology has always been a huge growth area in the world of eCommerce, and recent industry reports have shown even more evidence of consumers making the big shift to mobile throughout the back end of 2015.

The affiliate market is no exception to this – here’s the main findings from the report conducted by Affiliate Window:

Traffic in Q4 remained steady while sales continued to surge

Q3 saw the share of mobile traffic drop slightly, however by Q4 it marginally increased by almost a percentage point, bringing it back to 47.5% of all network traffic. This recovery was predominantly driven through smartphones which increased by 1.5% to 26% of traffic from the previous quarter. There was also a minimal increase in tablet traffic (19.3% vs 19.2%). Smartphones were continuously the device of choice when it came to casual browsing and Q4 saw especially strong performance over the Christmas period, with 55% of traffic on Boxing Day originating from a mobile device and 30% of that through a smartphone.

Figures from sales showed a different picture with a continued to growth in the share of sales through mobile devices. Sales made through mobile devices were up to 39.5% – over two percentage points up on Q3 and up from 36.2% in Q4 2014. There is still a disconnect between the share of traffic and sales through mobile devices. While this can suggest poorer conversion rates through mobile devices, the way these devices are used will also have an impact. Research from Affiliate Window throughout the year identified the role that mobile devices play in terms of being an influencing device and highlighted the importance of being able to track sales across devices to get a true understanding of their value.

Although smartphones have proven to bring in more traffic, tablet devices have traditionally dominated with bringing in sales. However research showed this gap erode even further in Q4 with sales through smartphones and tablets at an almost identical 19.6% and 19.9% respectively. As phones are advancing screens are becoming bigger and their connections are stronger. As a result of this the fine line between smartphones and tablets is becoming increasingly blurred. This is shown by the decrease in tablet sales and this is something that we can expect to see continue to decrease into 2016, with smartphones finally overtaking tablet with both sales and traffic.

Discounts fuelling conversion but decreasing average order value

The peak trading period in Q4 involved heavy discounting, therefore it was no surprise to see that this affected both conversion rates and average order values. Results showed that mobile device conversions were up to 4.6% (from 3.8%) while desktop increased to 6.5% (from 5.8%). Looking at this by device type, tablet devices trumped smartphones and converted at 5.7% (from 4.8%) while smartphone conversion was at 4.1% (from 3.5%).

While Cyber Weekend discounts encouraged greater conversion, the reduction in price of items resulted in the average order value being lower than we had seen in Q3. The report showed that desktop was seemingly most affected – down from to £77.45 in Q4 from £85.50 in Q3. The average order value on mobile was less affected and down by just 44p to £64.60. In fact, the smartphone AOV was up to £58.34 from £54.49 in Q3 – highlighting consumer’s growing confidence in purchasing through smartphones. Not only does this show that consumers are happy to purchase more frequently via smartphones, but they are prepared to spend more money on each order when they do so.

The iPhone continues to lead the way, while the iPad loses ground

When looking closer at the breakdown of Apple vs Android devices, the iPhone continues to be the dominant smartphone. It again showed an increase in traffic (77.1%) and sales (76.7%) while Android lost market share (20.5% and 21.1% respectively).

If we turn our attention to tablet devices, it is apparent that the traffic trend is reversed. Android tablets showed a continued steady growth and accounted for 56.7% of all tablet traffic across the network. While Android tablet sales have also increased, they were still much behind the iPad with just 31% of sales. Android tablets reported a conversion rate of just 3.1%, well behind the iPad which converted at 8.7% in Q4. As well as being more likely to commit to a purchase, iPad users were also spending more when they do. The average order value for sales made through and iPad was £76.48 in Q3 compared to £59.32 for Android tablets.

The strong end to 2015 leaves us expecting to see strong mobile growth throughout 2016, with smartphones solidifying their position as the go to mobile device of choice for online shopping.

Visualsoft Affiliate Network

The Visualsoft Affiliate Network launched in 2014 and allows the team to help customers build profitable partnerships with some of the biggest publishers in the industry, ranging in size up to millions of users each month. We are currently working on redesigning the interface of the network to enhance the overall user experience, in addition to working on the attribution aspects of the network which will allow users to find the value of each affiliate.

We offer the most competitive override and monthly fees on the market. Our network boasts an automated order validation, unlike many other affiliate networks where users are required to manually check each order and mark them for payment. This feature provides peace of mind for advertisers and publishers – ensuring that all commissions paid are 100% accurate for both parties.

We have already established partnerships with with some of the biggest websites in the UK, with millions of users and demographics for customers to tap into, including Quidco, VE Interactive,, HotUKDeals, Vouchercloud, Polyvore and many more.

Visualsoft Head of Network Luke Atherton speaks of the Affiliate Network saying, ‘Since March 2015 the Affiliate Network has earned over £5 million in revenue for our clients. The new plans that are set in place for March 2016 further improve the user experience and keep us ahead of existing market competitors.’

We have dedicated teams for both affiliates and retailers. Every retailer is given help and advice on running the program, including news on any upcoming affiliates. We also offer a full management service for retailers that do not have time for recruitment and strategy. No matter what the customer requires, Visualsoft has the solution.

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