Innovation Mobile

Mobile statistics: Building a case for your mobile site & app

  • ebay sell 1 item every 2 seconds via mobile
  • In 2014 there will be 300m mobile coupon users
  • 7.1 million Brits now access the internet through their mobile

(If you’re just here for the mobile stats, scroll down, I won’t be offended)

In my recent ‘60 second mobile review’ post, I explained a very simple health check for your business to determine whether you should be building a Mobile offering. Even though you may feel your company or industry is not ready, your Analytics may prove otherwise. A quick check will illustrate just how popular your website already is with mobile users.

If you’ve tried accessing your website on a mobile phone, you may have already realised that those visitors might not exactly be getting a premium customer experience. You may already be deliberating which is better for your business – a mobile site or smart phone apps.

However, to get your mobile site or app built you’re going to need to present a business case. You can pull together your supporting evidence – including existing mobile statistics – from both internal and external sources.

Three of which include:

  • Existing site analytics data – use this to illustrate how your audience already wants to access your service via a mobile device. It could also highlight the need for a mobile-specific interface, if the mobile stats don’t paint a pretty customer experience
  • External data / case studies – sometimes the biggest impetus to getting something signed off comes from showing the successes of others. The whole ‘its working really well for them, so it should be okay for us to do it too’ thing. It’s about confidence – if you can show how its worked for others it makes it easier to feel comfortable with any associated risk
  • Survey customers / prospects – sometimes the easiest way to get an answer is just to ask the question. Just be careful how you ask the question though. Asking ‘Do you think we should have a mobile site and iPhone app?’ will probably get you plenty of ‘Sure’ answers but won’t be very enlightening. You’ll be better off trying to understand their behaviours and needs via your questions and their answers.

The important thing to remember with the business case is to be clear why you need a mobile site or app. Just having one isn’t enough. Why should your company foot the development bill? What is the return on investment?

If it’s going to be a mCommerce site and generate revenue (selling products / services / access) then justify it with a financial forecast to offset the development costs.

However, it doesn’t need to be revenue generating to justify development. Adding value to the customer experience could be your reason – my favourite example is the Sky+ App that enables you to record your favourite TV programmers remotely. Sky doesn’t make direct revenue by charging for the App but it does contribute to the loyalty and retention of their customer base.

The final reason is innovation, or experimentation. This may seem a little fluffy, but for many it is justification enough to have observed the behaviours and trends and to want to experiment with a new product or service to see how customers respond. You may hit on something and grab market share with first mover advantage. Just be wary of the development costs with this approach, in case you have a few misses.

Mobile Statistics that may help your business case (or just interest you)

The majority of the following mobile stats came from Google’s recent Think Mobile seminar at the Royal Opera House in London. Others have come from a variety of sources. I have credited the original source where known, otherwise apologies, let me know and I’ll update.

  • 2 million iPads were sold in the first 59 days after release (that is one iPad sold every 3rd second (Apple, 2010)
  • Mobile advertising is expected to grow to £355m in Britain by 2014 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010)
  • 24% of mobile users have a smart phone
  • Today’s mobile phone would have cost £1 billion to build in the 1970s and would have been the size of a house
  • In 2014 there will be 300m mobile coupon users
  • 50% of mobile users start their activity with a search
  • 90% of all apps are deleted in 30 days (so make it a good one with real value!)
  • 25% of Android searches are made using Voice search technology (Google, 2010)
  • 48% of US smart phone users have used a mobile browser
  • Mobile search is growing as fast as mobile apps (
  • ebay sell 1 item every 2 seconds via mobile
  • 10% of all PaddyPower sales come via mobile
  • 1 billion mobile phones were bought in the first 14 years – 1 billion mobiles sold in the last 12 months
  • 11.5% of all UK shoppers use their mobiles to research before they shop (
  • 48% of social media users check Facebook / Twitter after they go to bed. 7% said they’d even check during an ‘intimate moment’ (SF Gate, 2010)
  • In the UK, 81% of mobile media users access mobile media more than once a week with 46% using it daily (MobiAd News, 2010)
  • 7.1 million Brits now access the internet through their mobile phones (Internet Monitor Survey, 2010)
  • Each month in the UK, 4.2 million consumers visit retailers’ websites using the mobile internet (GSMA & Comscore, 2010)
  • Despite the recession, over the last year m-commerce has accounted for nearly £123million worth of goods sold in the UK and this is predicted to double by 2013 to £275million (eBay & Mobile Marketing Association, 2010)
  • iPad applications have downloaded over 35 million times (Apple, 2010)
  • More than 1 in 10 mobile users will download or buy mobile tickets in the next four years (Juniper Research, 2010)
  • There are more than 150 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices (Facebook, 2010)
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile device are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users (Facebook, 2010
Business Performance Online Display Advertising

2nd Chance: easy way to boost your conversion rate

This article is one of a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers working in the digital marketplace and also at others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. So far we have covered knowing your objectives,  fixing your customer experience and conducting a Mobile review. Plenty more to come, including tips, best practice and case studies.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. In your very near future, you’re going to see a stupid, crazy spike in your conversion rate. Bold statement, but true.

If you spend any money on advertising your website, you need to be doing this. Trust me.

The great thing is, your competitors are highly unlikely to be doing it, so now’s your chance – your advertising performance will improve and you’ll look like a genius.

And the craziest thing about it; it’s in a place you’d never think to look.

Spill the beans

I’m sensing I should get to the point. So what is this magic elixir that will cure all marketing ills?

Display advertising. That’s right, you heard me. Display advertising. Okay, so no ordinary display advertising, but dynamic retargeting.

You’ll be aware of standard display ads and you’ve probably heard of behavioural targeting, whereby ads are targeted to users who match broad segments (i.e. visit a travel site on an ad network and be shown holiday ads in the future). However, dynamic retargeting takes it a whole bunch of steps further, by creating personalised displays ads containing content relevant to the individual, based on their previous activity on your site.

As the ad content is tailored based on the user’s intent and deeplinked to the relevant product page, your click through and conversion rates are significantly improved.

You talking to me?

Let’s take a look at an example. Bob is looking for a holiday in Spain. He’s spent the week sneakily checking out travel sites – including yours – during his tea break at work. Now it’s the weekend and he’s in a well known coffee chain taking advantage of the free WiFi with his Latte, whilst checking the football match reports.

As he scans the page a display ad catches his eye. Now normally he wouldn’t give it a second glance but this one is different. Yes, it shows Spanish holidays, but more importantly it contains the exact holiday resort he was looking at earlier in the week and several other very similar resorts he may be interested in. So what happens? He clicks the ad, books the holiday and the rest, as they say, is paella.

There are 2 reasons why the ad was so successful in converting Bob. 1) The content was personalised to his preferences and 2) it was presented to him whilst he was still in a buying frame of mind.

Bob may very well have forgotten about your site in all his research, but your use of dynamic retargeting has enabled you to leapfrog your competitors in his mind, and secure his custom.

So how does it work?

There are a number of companies that provide behavioural based display products, including Google and Criteo, but the product I’ve been describing in this post is from Struq, which from my perspective has the more sophisticated technology of the three. Hand in hand with that sophistication goes a greater conversion rate, due to its ability to deliver personalised content.

In terms of how it works, this graphic explains it well (click to enlarge).

How retargeting works – image courtesy of

In a nutshell, the user comes to your website, where Struq collects data on their activity. If the user leaves without converting (e.g. purchase), Struq will display a personalised ad to them if they turn up on another site in the ad network(s). The ad will contain at least one item they have previously looked at on your site, plus other similar content / products they may be interested in. Clicking on the ad will take the user straight through to the deeplinked product detail.

There is a live demo running if you want to see it in action.

Awesome but does it work?

From personal experience, yes, it certainly does. I’ve seen click through rates 1000% better than standard Run of Network display advertising, very impressive conversion rates, and cost per acquisition lower than pay-per-click advertising.

Clothing site, Republic, have reported getting ‘conversion rates for retargeted customers that are two or three times higher than our normal average’.

However, It’s worth pointing out, that dynamic behavioural targeting is not a replacement for your other advertising activity. Consider retargeting as your second chance to convert. Your PPC, SEO, email marketing, TV advertising and social media activity are all still needed to drive the traffic into your site in the first place, but the retargeting presents a great opportunity to complete the sales cycle and reduce wastage.

5 Key takeaways

  1. Dynamic retargeting is a cost effective way of bringing back unconverted visitors
  2. Delivers relevant content to users whilst they’re in a buying frame of mind
  3. Enables you to keep your brand ahead of your competitors in the mind of the potential customer
  4. Must be used as part of your marketing mix, not on its own
  5. Dynamic retargeting dramatically outperforms other types of display advertising (and other digital media)

You don’t need a lot of money to get started with dynamic retargeting, so it’s a great, low-risk opportunity to make a significant difference to your marketing performance. If you want help with your digital activity, I can recommend I Spy Marketing (who I use), or you can contact Struq directly.

So I’m guessing you weren’t anticipating an article raving about the incredible performance of display advertising, right? Well, I was sceptical when I first heard about it too. It took about a week for that all to change when I saw the first performance numbers come in.

I’m pretty confident, that you’ll think the same too. Thank me later, just don’t tell everyone about our secret. It’s too good to share.