Mobile represented 22%, 14% and 18% of overall retail Facebook ad spend in the first three quarters of 2013. This contrasts to the distribution of spend across all sectors, which Facebook reported averaging 30% in Q1 and 41% in Q2 (see Figure 6). This indicates that retailers have a large opportunity in their adoption of Facebook mobile advertising.
Facebook mobile advertising engagement, pricing and return varies for retailers by operating system, be it Android or iOS. Retailers allocated their mobile budgets more heavily on Android in Q1 and Q2; however, this allocation was spread more evenly across operating systems in Q3 (see Figure 7).
Facebook mobile CPMs have increased 16% from Q1 to Q3 of this year, averaging $4.87 for Android and $4.99 for iOS (see Figure 8).
Facebook mobile CPCs have increased 70% from Q1 to Q3 of this year, averaging $0.18 for Android and $0.40 for iOS (see Figure 9).
Retailers are looking at Facebook mobile through the lens of driving incremental sales, demanding the ability to understand how their Facebook mobile ad investments impact their bottom line. An indication of this is represented in the number of retailers measuring, attributing and optimizing their mobile ad investments for purchase revenue and ROI – a number that has tripled from Q1 to Q3 (see Figure 10).
Retailers are realizing significantly greater return from audiences on iOS than audiences on Android, as measured by both RPC and ROI (see Figure 11 and Figure 12). For the first three quarters of 2013, RPC on iOS averaged 6.1 times higher than Android and ROI on iOS averaged 17.9 times higher than Android.
When comparing engagement and return by operating system, it is clear that CTRs are not a proxy for ROI. While Android averaged the highest CTR for the year at 2.73%, the operating system also averaged the lowest ROI. In contrast, iPhone CTRs were lowest at 1.25% yet generated far greater return (see Figure 13).
Recommendation #1: Higher funnel metrics like CTRs are not a proxy for ROI on Facebook mobile, and retailers should ensure to test by device and audience.
Recommendation #2: Retailers should employ revenue tracking technology to better understand the quality of customers acquired through Facebook mobile as well as the mobile purchasing behavior of their customer base. Retailers are achieving increasing return from their Facebook advertising efforts and lag other sectors in their adoption of Facebook mobile, offering support for CMOs to increase budgets. This is especially the case for retailers looking to gain first-mover advantages over competitors.
This is the second of a four-part series highlighting Facebook advertising benchmarks for the retail sector going into holiday shopping season.
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