Report: Tablets Offer Lower CPC, Higher Conversions Than Desktop PCs

One of the key findings of the Q2 2012 Global Digital Advertising Update from Adobe (Efficient Frontier) is that search marketers can get more value from mobile campaigns than they now can on the PC. According to the report cost-per-click (CPC) prices are lower for both tablets and smartphones than comparable PC search campaigns and the ROI is higher in both cases — although “conversions” are lower on smartphones.

Adobe’s data are drawn from “over 250 billion impressions and activity of 46 million fans for 225 companies in the automotive, CPG, financial services, media and entertainment, and retail industries.”

Adobe found that overall tablet conversion rates were 20 percent higher on average than on the PC. As mentioned, smartphone conversion rates were significantly lower than PC conversions. This finding, however, is qualified by the fact that the definition of “conversion” is limited to online transactions. Without question the majority of smartphone-influenced conversions are offline (and therefore not tracked).

The following charts show conversion rates benchmarked to the PC. The US is on the left and UK and Germany are on the right.

The next two charts reflect CPCs and ROI benchmarked to PCs. In other words, the chart on the left shows that tablet CPCs are on average 71 percent of PC CPCs, while smartphone CPCs are even lower (56 percent). The chart on the right reflects that ROI is higher for both smartphones and tablets than for comparable search campaigns on the PC.

As I mentioned, however, if offline conversions were tracked and factored into the smartphone figures the conversion and ROI numbers would be even higher.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Search Ads: Mobile Search | Search Marketing: Mobile | Stats: General | Stats: Search Behavior


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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