Facebook's earnings report reveals just how deeply mobile contributes to the platform's revenue stream
2016 was the first year that Facebook saw more mobile conversions than desktop during the holiday season, a change that could be attributed to a number of market changes, not least of which would include the ones noted in Facebook IQs latest report.
According to the report, the upswing in mcommerce started on Black Friday, with the mobile portion of online transactions growing by 55 percent year over year, and it continued throughout the holidays, with mobile making up 51 percent of total online transactions more than a 10 percentage point increase compared to what the company saw during the 2015 holidays. The report includes a number of insights as to how mobile consumers behave within Facebooks ad platform, and a few attempts at counsel for the aspiring retailer looking to navigate within it.
Regardless of mobile or desktop, ads need to be relevant for the consumer in the moment, said Katie Duffy, content manager, global consumer insights at Facebook. An ad thats very relevant when a person is on their phone for the Monday morning commute might not be relevant when switching on their laptop an hour later.
A consumer can and should expect to see differences between their mobile and desktop newsfeeds. We encourage advertisers to think about the canvas they are creating for, and designing their ads accordingly.
Many of the reports findings center around the mantra The thumb is in charge. The social media platform has noticed that due to the ubiquity of mobile phone usage, individuals are always proximal to a transaction at any given moment.
Mobile conversions especially grow when users are off the clock; conversions grow between 4pm to 6pm when users commute, and peak between 8pm and 9pm, when they tend to watch TV.
In fact, according to the report, 38 percent of retail shoppers say they wish they could do even more shopping on mobile than they already do.
Another mobile attribute that Facebook advised retailers to hone in on ifs efficiency. Mobile users, with their granulated, fractured attention spans, are especially impatient within the ecommerce space.
Consumers are constantly evading friction points however they can, so Facebooks claim that 65 percent of people surveyed reported using retail aggregators on their phones comes as no surprise.
Attention spans are so short that 40 percent of mobile Web site visitors abandon a site within three seconds of a delay in loading, so retailers are tending to respond by simplifying the checkout process, introducing one-touch buying or express checkout services.
One of the most striking findings from Facebooks report is the claim that mobile users actually perceive time differently than desktop users.
Facebook showed participants two videos with different subject matter, one neutral and one entertaining, on a desktop computer or on a mobile device. It then asked the participants how long they thought the videos were.
People who viewed the videos on mobile estimated them to be 30 percent shorter in length than the desktop viewers did, even though the videos shown on each screen were equal in length.
The same principle held for mcommerce: shoppers who saw a retail or ecommerce ad on Facebook mobile and then converted on mobile took 1.08 fewer days to convert than those who saw the same type of Facebook ad on desktop and then converted on desktop. In effect, mobile-to-mobile conversions were 13 percent faster than desktop-to-desktop.
The mobile feed has created a fundamentally different type of consumer behavior, Ms. Duffy said. People simply move faster when scrolling through their mobile feed compared to behavior on desktop.
For marketers, this creates both an opportunity and a challenge, as the need to grab peoples attention from the moment an interaction starts now holds more weight, she said. There are key ways brands can take advantage of this new consumer behavior in feed when building their creative from designing for a sound off environment to putting their brand up front to grab attention from the start of a frame.
But despite our need for speed, so to speak, this doesnt mean there isnt a home for longer form content in our feeds. The biggest obstacle is simply getting people to stop their thumbswhich is why we talk about thumb stopping creative in feed.