I seldom buy anything on mobile devices. I do plenty of research, but don’t buy much except for digital course products here and there.
I prefer buying on a tablet or desktop. I like screen space to really make sure I want what I’m looking for.
I’m not alone.
Ecommerce revenue is lower on mobile than desktop. That’s part of the reason ad revenue is lower on mobile as well.
Long ago I accepted that mobile page views would earn less. I think most of us web publishers have accepted this.
But recently it occurred to me to actually look into my own Amazon affiliate commission data to really see if there was a difference in revenue across desktop, mobile and tablets, and if there is a difference, how significant is it.
Turns out there is a difference and it’s huge, at least for me.
Check it out:
Amazon Affiliate Commissions: Desktop vs. Mobile vs. TabletThis data is from one of my niche sites from October 1, 2015 to November 17, 2016 (13.5 months)
|Total Website Traffic (to URLs with affiliate links):||1,139,912||444,565||512,960||182,385|
|# of posts included in this analysis (i.e. posts with Amazon affiliate links):||81|
|Total number of visits to URLs with Amazon links per month||84,437|
|Average visits per URL per month:||1,042|
|Total Clicks to Amazon:||154,734||Unfortunately I couldn't determine how many clicks to Amazon were from desktop, mobile and tablet.|
|Website Amazon Affiliate CTR to Amazon:||14%|
|Amazon Affiliate Revenue:||$15,955||$12,212||$1,881||$1,182|
|Earnings per Click||$.10||Because I don't know what % of clicks were from which kind of device, I can only get an average EPC across all devices.|
|Average revenue per post per month from Amazon affiliate commissions||$14.62|
|# of Sales:||4,129||3,181||481||321|
|Website Revenue per 1,000 Sessions from Amazon affiliate revenue*:||$14.01||$27.50||$3.67||$6.49|
A few things to note about the above data.
*Traffic volume: It is number of sessions pertaining ONLY to pages on which I have affiliate links. This amounts to 81 posts on my site, which is a fraction of overall content. In other words, I did not include traffic to posts with no affiliate links.
Because Amazon did not break down click volume by desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet, I simply divided total clicks to Amazon (154,734 by total traffic to URLs with affiliate links which was 1,139,912).
I promote other merchants which increased affiliate RPM. Read my Amazon vs. Other Merchants Analysis here. I wanted to restrict this to Amazon because Amazon is a very popular merchant and many niche site publishers only promote Amazon.
Areas of Strength:
Traffic generation: Over the past 13.5 months I’ve averaged over 84,000 visits per month to web pages with Affiliate links. That’s not bad.
CTR: I think a 14% click through rate to Amazon isn’t bad. However, I think I can improve this with some better calls to action. Note, however, that most of these URLs also promote other merchants which reduces the clicks to Amazon when visitors click another merchant’s link (although some visitors end up clicking links to multiple merchants which is a really good situation).
Areas of Weakness:
EPC: $.10 EPC is dismal. I’m better off getting a click from AdSense.
Revenue per 1,000 visitors: The revenue per 1,000 visits across the board is weak with Amazon. Fortunately, I promote other merchants that have a better RPM so the above isn’t the full affiliate RPM picture. I’ll be publishing a post with all affiliate info shortly.
What can I do with this info?
The obvious take-away is that desktop is by far the best earning platform for me with Amazon commissions. Just look at the last row which sets out the revenue per 1,000 visitors to my site or the Amazon affiliate revenue by desktop, mobile and tablet in the middle. It’s not even close.
So, how does this help me? I can:
- Put more display ads on mobile because mobile ain’t gonna earn much with Amazon. OR, try more Amazon native ads to see if that helps CTR on mobile (they look great on mobile).
- Put fewer or no ads on desktop since desktop RPM is pretty high.
- Add more ads on tablet view because ad revenue RPM on tablets is quite high whereas affiliate revenue isn’t all that great (at least for me).
- Use more Amazon tracking codes for different pages so I can see what type of content (i.e. keywords) converts the best.
- Use more (or fewer) Amazon Native Ad units. If a page does really well with Amazon revenue, adding one or two Amazon native ad units may bolster that revenue… especially on mobile.
- While putting this data together, I’ve also compared Amazon affiliate RPM with other merchants to see just how all affiliate merchants stack up against one another. I was definitely surprised by this (I’m working on a post covering Amazon vs. other affiliate merchants).
- I need to target more keywords that have better buyer intent. The problem here, however, is buyer intent keywords are more competitive. On the flip side, the content I have with affiliate links does attract plenty of traffic and earns with display ads so traffic is monetized regardless whether visitors buy something from Amazon.
- I need to work on a higher CTR from my site to Amazon. Currently I just use text links, but I think adding Amazon buttons will help improve CTR.
My NUMBER 1 TAKE AWAY: I absolutely must make this type of content a priority going forward. The affiliate revenue combined with ad revenue is excellent (despite the Amazon data on their own not being stellar). The fact is, I’ve been able to get a lot of traffic to these types of posts averaging over 1,000 visits per month to posts with affiliate links. Therefore, I really need to focus on more of this type of content.
Currently I have 81 posts with affiliate links. That’s not very many given my site has 1,350 posts or so. Imagine if I had 800 posts promoting Amazon (assuming similar Amazon RPM to what I currently earn, which shouldn’t be that hard given mine isn’t all that great). That would be $150,000 in revenue over the course of a year or so (actually much much more when other affiliate merchant revenue is lumped in).
I’ve never done an Amazon traffic and revenue data analysis this in-depth before. I enjoyed doing it and I learned a lot. In fact, the best info I gathered was not the discrepancy between desktop, mobile and tablet, but the fact I earn soooo much more with other merchants than with Amazon, which tells me that longer cookies do make a difference.
Please don’t assume your data is similar to mine. In fact, I bet your Amazon results are better. Take an hour or two and check out your numbers. It’s a good exercise to do.
- How-to article on earning revenue with Amazon Associates.
- Amazon vs. Other Merchants: Which Earns the Most?
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.