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Compare Search, Social & Display Performance On Mobile & Desktop [Report]
Mobile trends are consistent across platforms despite differences in user behavior and intent.
In its Q4 2014 Benchmark Report, Marin Software looked at performance by device across social, display and search campaigns running through its platform. Overall, desktops lost 6.3 percent of click share, primarily to smartphones which grew by 4.8 percent.
Looking at click-through rate across platforms, Marin saw similar trends across search, social and display. Ad engagement rates on mobile devices outperform desktop on all three platforms. (Search remains the stand-out leader in click-through rate, with social and display lagging behind sharply as they have historically.)
Conversion rates on mobile continue to be lower on mobile devices than on desktop, despite the higher click-through rates. Lower conversion rates, on smartphones in particular, are driven by differences in user intent when on mobile as well as the basic challenge of completing a transaction on mobile compared to the relative ease on desktop.
As the report’s authors write, “Consumer intent when using smartphones often involves tasks such as research, checking item availability, browsing reviews, or planning an in-store visit – all of which may not directly lead to an online conversion.” Additionally mobile and cross-device attribution continue to challenge the industry.
On Facebook, Marin Software advertisers included in this study allocated 57 percent of spend to mobile. A full 63 percent of Facebook ad clicks came from mobile devices, however, only 34 percent of conversions were on mobile.
Cost-per-click (CPC) mirrors conversion performance. CPCs are highest on desktop on search, social and display, and overall, CPCs are higher on search, followed by display and social.
As consumers continue to spend more time on their mobile devices, it will be interesting to see the effect on these trends. The accounts included in the report skew enterprise, with annual ad spend of over $1 million on Marin, but understanding the differences in consumer intent and behavior by platform and device will continue to be important for all digital marketers. We’re likely to see conversion rates on mobile continue to rise as site owners improve mobile experiences, phones get bigger and consumer behavior keeps shifting.