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New Research: Mobile Advertising Driving Purchases At Unprecedented Rate

AOL, in conjunction with the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), today announced the first set of findings from an ongoing research effort seeking to better understand how consumers engage with content across multiple devices. The findings are based on analytics derived from more than 500 billion online ad impressions and 100M “conversion events” across all devices – such as mobile phones, desktop computer and tablets - representing the industry’s largest cross-platform study conducted to date.

Mobile Devices Driving a Substantial Percentage of Overall Conversions

AOL and the SEAS examined conversion data across travel, retail, auto, and telecom. The data revealed that consumers are purchasing more goods and services from their mobile devices than previously thought. Nearly a third (31%) of conversions across the four verticals occurred while on a mobile device. Moreover, mobile conversions have grown quickly: over the past year, the cross-industry conversion rate for mobile grew 28%. The industries with the highest mobile conversion rates were telecom at 37% (purchasing of new plans and devices) and retail at 35% (making a purchase). Auto was next at 22% (finding a local dealer, requesting more information, configuring a car and travel) and travel at 20% (booking a hotel, flight or car reservation.)

Has Mobile Become the New “at-home” Device?

The rapid growth of mobile conversion rates may be due to a couple of factors. First, as a society, we are now spending a significant amount of our total “digital time” at home using mobile devices: according to the data, consumers now spend 25% of their total digital time at home on tablets or cell phones. Moreover, 75% of all mobile ad impressions were viewed within the home. This finding runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that we spend the vast majority of our time interacting with mobile devices while outside the home, such as waiting in line at a cafe. The data suggests that, as our activity increases on mobile devices at home, so too does our propensity to purchase products and services from them.

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