As the EMEA region continues its shift towards mobile, Apple is emerging as a clear winner, according to new analysis by the Adobe Digital Index team.
Here are the proof points: Apple’s Safari browser had the largest gain (23% YoY), rapidly closing the gap with market leader Google (Chrome and Android). Additionally, online video views per visitor are highest on the tablet, a market where Apple’s iPad is the clear leader.
“Apple devices lead the way in mobile browsing and mobile video viewing, areas which are going to be two very big focuses for the company going forward,” said Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst at ADI. “With Apple's Worldwide developer conference happening next week, it's no surprise that the rumoured announcements include an new Apple Pro tablet, an iPhone 7, and an update on the Apple TV video viewing platform as the company wants to further cement its lead in the mobile and video market.”
“The browser war in EMEA is as unsettled as ever just as Microsoft is about to launch Edge and shake it up again. For marketers, browser use is critical to site optimization strategies but also provides a targeting opportunity as Safari users are more likely to mirror the purchasing power of iPad/iPhone users. The more affluent and gadget centric audience could be a valuable targeting component used to personalize web experiences.”
According to ADI, the share of smartphone browsing continues to climb in the EMEA region, up 50% from April 2014 and demonstrating an 11% quarter-over-quarter increase.
These figures support ADI’s forecast that desktop browsing will be surpassed by smartphone browsing sometime mid- to late 2017.
ADI’s findings also show that online video viewing is more of a desktop activity, with figures at 69%, compared to 18% on smartphones and 13% on tablets, but behaviours are changing.
“We are seeing a downtrend in the share of desktop viewing and an uptrend for mobile,” said Gaffney.
According to Gaffney, “The mobile uptrend for both browsing and video starts is being driven more by smartphone usage. This shift in behaviour presents marketers who implement traditional advertising strategies with an evolving challenge. It will be the marketers who employ dynamic and programmatic ad buying campaigns who will capitalize on the wealth of opportunities created through this shift and allow them to reach consumers on the go at the right time and more importantly, in the right place.”
While mobile devices are clearly eating into desktop’s share of traffic for both behaviours, Gaffney told CMO.com, video starts currently trail behind the overall shift towards mobile browsing.
ADI’s analysis is based on more than 500 billion aggregated and anonymous visits to 7,000 websites in EMEA and 11,000 websites in North America and more than 200 billion online video starts worldwide.
Tablet Finds A Niche
Tablets appear to be carving out a specialist niche within video viewing, despite flat line browsing and video viewing figures. “Tablets are being used more for snacking of content, both in EMEA and the U.S.,” Gaffney said. “For marketers this means that they can expect a more engaged viewer, who can be captivated with richer advertising content allowing them to interact at a higher level with a brand.”
Online video views per visitor on tablets was greater than on smartphone or desktop, with a tablet lending itself well to greater mobility and the ability to multitask while watching content, according to ADI.
“When it comes to video in EMEA, people still like a larger—and possibly higher fidelity—device to watch video, especially long form content,” said Gaffney.
The findings suggest mobile devices inspire greater confidence among EMEA consumers, and perhaps offer a better fit with their lifestyle. “Our data shows a higher bias towards mobile devices in EMEA compared to the U.S. when it comes to media consumption.”
Despite the lack of change in the share of overall tablet browsing, some micro trends are emerging. Activities such as shopping, and consuming media and entertainment content are demonstrating moderate tablet share growth, at almost 1% and 2% real share growth, respectively (Q1 2014 to Q1 2015), while periodic activities such as researching travel destinations, and visits to automotive sites using the tablets, are diminishing. Visits to travel and automotive sites is showing the greatest drop at less than -2%.
Safari Makes Its Mark
According to ADI, nearly two thirds of EMEA browser activity (both desktop and mobile) is held by Google and Apple collectively. However, Google still holds the greatest share—thanks to Chrome and Android, which account for 42% of visits, with growth of 5% YoY.
“Perhaps, the European Commission’s recent anti-trust investigation into Android, and its subsequent allegation of ‘monopolistic practices’, is having an impact,” said Gaffney. “Safari is poised to capitalise on this.” In fact, Safari has already increased its share by a sizeable 23% YoY, reaching 25%, currently at the expense of Internet Explorer and Firefox.
However, North America tells a different story, with Chrome and Android standing at 39% versus Safaris’ 32%. This further indicates that such a shift might be imminent in EMEA.
The Smartphone Revenue Challenge
While people are clearly making more purchases using their smartphones, with revenue picking up speed, ADI finds transactions are not equal to visits. “Smartphone shopping still lags behind desktop shopping as a revenue producer in Q1 of this year,” said Roberts.
Figures show that when it comes to shopping, smartphones account for over 25% of the traffic but less than 10% of actual revenue. This signals a warning sign for brands: “There is a risk that marketers will lose money because the conversion rate is much lower on mobile devices than on desktop,” Roberts said.
And, he said, it is a worldwide trend, with consumers using their smartphones to research products while in-store, at home, or at work, but returning to the desktop to make the final purchase.
“Marketers need to be aware that shoppers are using different devices for different behaviours,” Gaffney urged. “Organisations need to work on ensuring that their mobile channel has lots of product information, and perhaps focus on converting the transaction via desktop. The smartphone is a purchasing aid, rather than a purchasing engine.”
--Giselle Abramovich, CMO.com’s senior & strategic editor, contributed to this article.
Read related article: “Apple Leads Streaming Video Battle: ADI”
About Adobe Digital Index
Adobe Digital Index publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from over 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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