Report: Mobile Drove More Than $200 Billion In 2013 Retail Sales

Location - xAdMobile ad network xAd has released its 2013 year-in-review report. The data and findings are drawn from “more than 400 billion location-verified ad requests on xAd’s platform last year.”

The company, which specializes in location-targeted mobile ads, boasted that its geo- and audience-targeted display campaigns saw performance metrics “nearly 15 percent above the industry average” and search-ad response rates that were “37 percent higher than current CTR benchmarks.”‘ Part of this has to do with ad creative and part with use of location in campaigns.

Retail emerged as the highest spending category on the xAd platform in 2013.

xAd year in review

Source: xAd 

The company reported that in the retail category, 77 percent of smartphone-influenced purchases happened offline. Another 13 percent of transactions happened later on a PC. Only 7 percent took place on a smartphone.

These data, presented in the year-in-review report, were drawn from an earlier 2013 study conducted together with Telmetrics and Nielsen.

xAd smartphone purchase data

Source: xAd 

As an ad network specializing in location the majority of xAd’s campaigns already used location in some form. However the company noted a big increase in 2013 of what it calls “geo-precise techniques” (geo-fencing, geo-conquesting, or geo-targeted search). The number of campaigns using such approaches went from 81 percent in 2012 to 96 percent in 2013.

One can see this jump as a proxy for increasing sophistication among mobile advertisers about use of location in mobile.

xAd secondary actions

Source: xAd 

Another interesting finding is that “secondary actions” — these are the actions smartphone users take after clicking through on an ad unit — vary by category, with calls being the most common. In some categories, including retail, users didn’t make calls as much as look for directions or maps.

The company asserts that mobile and mobile ads ”directly contributed to online and offline retail sales of over $200B in 2013.” Given that 2013 US retail sales were probably more than $4.5 trillion that’s only about 4 percent. Accordingly, I suspect that $200 billion figure actually dramatically underestimates mobile’s impact on retail and other commercial spending.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Statistics | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Spend Projections


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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