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Daft.ie iPhone App - The Stats

Daft.ie iPhone App

We've been developing for mobile for many years now. We launched one of the the first WAP sites on the digifone portal back in 1999. In 2005 we launched on i-mode. Despite being backed by huge outdoor ad campaigns, i-mode and WAP never really lived up to their promise. We had more people visting daft.ie via their desktop browser in one minute than an entire month on i-mode/WAP. So by and large, mobile has been a total waste of time for us, that is, until now.

The Daft.ie iPhone App was launched on Christmas Eve 2009 after a six month development effort. We expected it to be popular but the usage stats have blown through even our wildest expectations.

To date the app has been downloaded 13,627 times, which is great, but download data doesn't tell us very much about usage behaviour. Luckily, Google launched google analytics for mobile in November, so we've been able to track the app usage in the same way we track usage on the main Daft.ie website.

In January, the Daft.ie iPhone app was launched over 81,000 times and users browsed nearly 2.5 million pages. This compares to 3 million visits and 129 million page views on the main Daft.ie website.

Usage stats for Daft.ie iPhone App in January 09

54% of the page views were from people browsing through photographs. This incredible usage of photo browsing reinforces the need for advertisers to post as many high quality photos on their ads as they can. Besides price, the best way to generate interest in your property is to post good photos and lots of them.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 17.14.23

18% of the page views were generated by people browsing through search results and property details pages.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 17.26.32

Only 1% of the pages were from people using the nearby feature. This goes to show that people browse content on their iPhone just like they would on a desktop pc, even though you would think that location based search would be more useful i.e. most people search using the standard refine features such as area, price, bedrooms, rather than GPS location.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 17.27.07

One of the amazing things about the iPhone is that for the first time ever we can record how many phone calls we are generating for our advertisers. In January we generated 2,036 phone calls from iPhone users, which is an average of 65 phone calls a day.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 17.49.20

In addition we generated 1,116 emails in January from iPhone and iPod touch users.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 17.51.49

Given that 14% of visitors came from iPod touch devices, the ratio of phone to email of 1.82 is probably a little higher on the main Daft.ie website.

Screen shot 2010-02-13 at 18.25.21

In January 107,304 emails were sent by users to advertisers using the main Daft.ie website. So if we extrapolate iPhone user behaviour to our stats on the main Daft.ie site and using the 1.82 multiplier that means we generated at least 195,293 phone calls for our advertisers or 6,300 phone calls per day. Including emails and iPhone activity, that's at least 9,863 leads per day that we generated for our advertisers in January!

We will soon start work on version 2.0 of the Daft.ie iPhone app and hope to release some new features that have been requested by our users. We are also very excited about developing for the yet-to-be-released iPad and we think it will be a great tool for estate agents to show properties to prospective buyers. It may even replace the need for a printed brochure.

Why not try out the app and let us know what you think?

7 Comments

  1. Belen Barros says:

    Hi Eamonn.

    That's a really interesting post. The effort of setting up GA will definitely pay off! However, I must disagree with the focus of your mobile strategy.

    Yes, WAP was early days, and I can see how the japanese i-mode standard didn't do much for you guys either. But web for mobile is now a solid alternative and, more importantly, an alternative that can help you reach 71% of mobile subscribers (that's the number of current phones with a reasonably decent browser as per Tomi Ahonen's 2010 Almanac). I don't have iPhone penetration numbers for the Irish market, but if we extrapolate from global figures, iPhone users (this excludes iPod touch devices) are 15% of all smartphones. Only 13% of the installed base of mobile phones in use are smartphones. So by serving iPhone users you are restricting yourself to 1.95% of the market.

    And yes, Safari iPhone generates about 50% of all mobile internet traffic, but that just means there is another 50% of the market out there for you to grab.

    Why not use content adaptation to deliver a mobile-optimised version of your website? This might be a carrier issue (and you can ignore the rest of this comment if that's the case), but I just visited daft.ie from my iPhone via the 3G T-Mobile UK network. You detected my device and displayed a pop-up offering me your iPhone app, but then you gave me the desktop version of your website, which doesn't look great and forces me to zoom in and scroll horizontally.

    Yours is one of those services where mobile context usage offers clear advantages without requiring significant integration with native phone capabilities (both location detection and click-to-call functionality are supported by mobile browsers). Maximising the reach of your service by optimising your website for mobile should be a no-brainer.

    All the best,

    Belen

    All numbers in the comment are available at:

    http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/02/the-big-picture-stats-view-to-mobile-industry-2010-edition.html

    http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/02/our-gift-to-you-our-readers-the-tomiahonen-cheat-sheet-on-all-major-mobile-industry-numbers.html

    http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2010/02/the_iphone_obse.html

  2. Thanks for sharing this data. Very very useful for all. I was just wondering about your app a couple of days ago hoping that people would be using it but not entirely sure that the volume would be there yet. Looks like there is absolutely no doubt that it is!

  3. Graham says:

    Is there an App being developed for Nokia N series or just Iphone.

    Graham

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  6. ants in his pants says:

    How about an Android app? It's becoming a big chunk of the market here and is expected to grow as more networks add more handsets. I agree with the earlier comment that to show you recognise a user is using a mobile device and then show them a desktop layout, which it difficult to use on a phone, seems hard to justify.

  7. Estate agents seem to be going out of business daily in the UK. It's a really touch industry but with some hard work many of us will pull through it.

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