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.
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.
18% of the page views were generated by people browsing through search results and property details pages.
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.
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.
In addition we generated 1,116 emails in January from iPhone and iPod touch users.
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.
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?