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Holiday-season mobile ads affected consumer browsing, shopping patterns: Adfonic

Mobile advertising is influencing the way that consumers browse for gifts and hunt for bargains, with mobile click-throughs peaking Dec. 12 and 26, according to Adfonic.

Adfonic measured real-time clicks during the Christmas season across its mobile advertising marketplace and found that mobile clicks for the first half of the month peak on Dec. 12, the day eBay calls Mobile Sunday, with a 400 percent increase compared to the start of the month. Adfonic claims that click-through volumes began to increase again starting Dec. 21, attaining the highest totals of the month Dec. 26, which experienced an additional 26 percent increase over Mobile Sunday.

“If you are not already including mobile in your campaign plans, you should be,” said Victor Malachard, CEO of Adfonic, London. “We only scratched the surface in 2010 in terms of what mobile has the potential to deliver.

“Our Christmas figures reinforce what we already know—consumer media consumption patterns are changing as a result of mobile and will continue to do so,” he said.

“There is a huge opportunity for brands to reach and engage with their consumers in new ways and at new times, both as they browse at home and on the move as they shop.”

Adfonic lets advertisers bid for display advertising inventory across mobile Web sites and within applications. It is designed to help publishers maximize the earning potential of their mobile traffic.

Mobile advertising works
Interestingly, the two highest peaks of consumers clicking on mobile ads did not occur on Cyber Monday.

The overall increase in mobile activity during the holiday season can most likely be attributed to consumers using mobile devices to research product information and find deals as they shop.

The 400 percent increase that Adfonic saw on Sunday Dec. 12 compared to the beginning of the month correlates with eBay’s Mobile Sunday phenomenon.

Mr. Malachard said that he believes the Sunday peak—in contrast to the pre-Christmas second Monday of December peak that retailers are used to seeing online—shows that consumers are increasingly using their omnipresent smartphones to research and assist with Christmas shopping as they browse on the malls and high streets.

The overall peak for the month was Boxing Day, a.k.a. St. Stephen’s Day, on Dec. 26, per Adfonic.

Click volumes were up 26 percent on Mobile Sunday, showing the importance of mobile devices for consumers looking to hunt down bargains in the sales, per Mr. Malachard.

While many retailers have reported a slower-than-expected start to January sales, mobile has bucked the trend as consumers turn to their mobile devices to hunt out bargains, per Adfonic.

Adfonic highlighted two trends: an even earlier start to online and mobile Web sales, as well as the fact that smartphones and tablets were both must-have Christmas presents for 2010.

Christmas Day was the second-biggest day in December for mobile clicks across the Adfonic marketplace.

Many retailers and merchants expected mobile was to drive an increase in online sales this past Christmas season.

The Interactive Media in Retail Group forecasted that 20 percent of the $8.34 billion expected to be spent online would be via mobile, while the Mobile Marketing Association predicted that 67 percent of consumers would use mobile devices to search and pay for Christmas gifts.

However, Mr. Malachard said that these figures reflect only part of the impact that increasing smartphone and tablet adoption is having on overall commerce trends.

In addition to armchair shopping, as savvy bargain hunters use their mobiles to research product information and find the best prices as they shop, mobile is shaping overall consumer purchase decisions more and more.

Mr. Malachard said that as the wealth of information constantly available to consumers via their smartphone devices grows, mobile is proving to be a key component in driving commerce, both on mobile sites and applications as well as in bricks-and-mortar stores.

Adfonic’s reporting shows that the high time for mobile clicks in Britain over the Christmas holidays was between 9-10 p.m. Dec. 26, while the Christmas Day peak was between 5-6 p.m.

Mobile games proved to be the most popular applications clicked on during Christmas Day, per Adfonic.

“Whilst perhaps not unexpected, it does beg the question as to whether mobile gaming has overtaken some of the more traditional Christmas pastimes such as board games or films,” Mr. Malachard said. “Mobile has become so important this year thanks to the massive uptake of smartphone devices in 2010.

“Smartphones go everywhere with consumers and with such a vast amount of information at their fingertips all the time, it is no surprise that they are using their devices to search for product information and the best prices as they shop,” he said.

“Mobile commerce figures tell only part of the story as mobile devices are also now a key component in influencing consumer purchasing decisions and driving offline commerce.”

Final Take
Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Mobile Commerce Daily