Consumers today are device and channel agnostic, and seamlessly switch from device to device throughout a given day. In light of this assorted multi-device behavior, the introduction of cross-device tracking – which is the ability to identify engagement that starts on one device or browser and tie that behavior to a transaction on a different device or browser – was a significant step for the affiliate marketing industry. The ability to view, measure and accurately attribute transactions occurring across devices and browsers is enabling marketers and publishers to understand where their customers are initiating their product research and ultimately making their final purchase. They can also understand how sales are impacted by unique combinations of messages across different devices, as well as the final influencing factor that drove someone to make a purchase.

As a result of CJ Affiliate’s recent launch of their Cross-Device Solution, they have delivered pivotal awareness about Cross-Device shoppers and insight into how marketers can engage these shoppers throughout their multi-device purchase paths. Here are the top three insights to know right now:

 Cross-Device shoppers are savvy and essential to brands.

Cross-device shoppers are incredibly skillful shoppers that engage in a great deal of research (commonly on smartphones) prior to making a purchase. This behavior is extremely valuable to advertisers and publishers in the affiliate space, as the AOV (average order value) for a shopper who initiates product consideration on one device and completes a purchase on another is 21 percent higher than single-device transactions. In fact, the AOV of Cross-Device transactions that originated on a mobile device are three times higher than average.1 Marketers can leverage this trend by creating compelling mobile product features and rich creative assets (i.e. engaging mobile banners), and providing these assets to mobile-oriented publishers.

Multiple devices translate to more time in the consideration phase of the shopping journey.

With a mobile device always nearby, shoppers have more opportunities to discover, research and evaluate products while they’re on the go. Within CJ Affiliate’s network, 62 percent of cross-device transactions happen between days 2 and 35 (after the initial product consideration), with only 13 percent of same device transactions occurring during this timeframe. We see lower conversions within 24 hours of the initial click and higher conversions after day 35 compared to same-device activity. Additionally, all types of publishers in our affiliate network (including coupon/deal and loyalty/incentive) are seeing an uptick in transactions later in the shopping journey, with content and social publishers topping out at an 8 percent and 17 percent increase respectively. 2

Mobile is prevalent for product research, but desktop is favored for purchases.

According to eMarketer, the average U.S. consumer spends 3.2 hours per day on mobile devices, up from 0.4 hours per day in 2010. Despite the fact that time spent on mobile is usurping time spent on desktop, cross-device shoppers overwhelmingly prefer (75 percent) to make purchases on desktop.3 This can likely be attributed to the fact that checkout experiences on mobile, although improving, are still not as optimized as desktop experiences. With the proliferation of loyalty rewards for various credit cards, consumers also want the flexibility of choosing the most optimal card for each transaction.

As multi-device shopping behavior and transactional data become more common, the relationship between affiliate advertisers and publishers will continue to evolve in order to capitalize on opportunities to deliver a unique and relevant message to the right shopper at the right time and in the right place. These are exciting new angles from which to engage cross-device shoppers and it’s important that advertisers diversify and expand their publisher partnerships accordingly.

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is a leading global affiliate marketing network, specializing in pay-for-performance programs to drive results. Our network helps to create connections amid millions of online consumers daily by facilitating equitable, lucrative relationships between advertisers and publishers. Many of the world’s most recognized and specialized brands run their affiliate programs on CJ’s platform.