As MENA customers use more different kinds of devices than ever when shopping online, it’s become increasingly difficult to measure a brand’s mobile conversion rate. Rather than relying on just one metric, brands can now use a tool called Estimated Total Conversion, which calculates all the ways in which customers engage.

More than 50% of search queries in MENA come from smartphones. Mobile video consumption – particularly on YouTube – is another huge activity. (Globally, YouTube views from mobile are at 40%, but in the MENA this number is higher than 65%.) In terms of mobile purchases, people use smartphones to buy travel, products, and entertainment tickets, as well as to pay bills. In fact, Saudi Arabia leads the world in people who favor smartphones over computers to make online purchases.

In this complex, multi-screen world, we’re no longer seeing a linear path to purchase that begins and ends with an e-commerce transaction on the same device where the journey began. The proliferation of devices means a shopper’s route looks less like a funnel and more like a flight map, with the lines between online and offline shopping experiences becoming increasingly blurred.

Mobile breaks down barriers between online and offline, making the transition between physical and virtual feel more seamless all the time.

What follows are some examples of how mobile plays a role in connecting touchpoints and helping consumers make purchases:

Mobile store locator

An on-the-go customer receives a call from his sister reminding him to buy some cookware as a gift for his mother’s birthday. The customer searches for cookware on his smartphone and clicks to obtain directions so he can buy the gift in a nearby store before heading home.


Another customer is thinking of buying a new smartphone as a gift but isn’t sure about various mobile and data plans. She searches for smartphone plans, then uses a click-to-call link in a search ad that enables her to speak directly to a representative.

Mobile app

A loyal customer who has already downloaded a retailer’s app uses the app to purchase gift cards to send to people on his holiday shopping list.

Mobile site

A consumer is in a cab on the way home from a business trip. She decides to look for some gift ideas for her nephew. She does a search and clicks through to a mobile-optimized site, where she completes a quick and painless order.

Cross-device activity

A consumer is at a sports bar watching football and sees a commercial for new tablet; he does an initial search on his phone to check prices and finds a product review, too. He emails these links to himself so he can read up at home on his laptop. After a bit more research, he eventually buys the tablet using his PC.

It’s clear that mobile often pops up along the user’s path in completing a purchase, but its impact can’t always be measured as a straightforward conversion on a smartphone device. So the question is: how do we measure a brand’s success in the face of all this complexity? Many brands have embraced Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) as a metric to allow them to track conversions across multiple devices along the customer’s journey.

Estimated cross-device conversions help develop a picture of conversions that start as an ad click on one browser or device (such as mobile, tablet, or desktop computer), and end as a conversion on another browser or device. How? Measurement is based on an advertiser’s conversion tracking pixel. The technology then observes cross-device conversions from a sample of previously logged-in users to estimate the total number of cross-device users and extrapolate an estimate of total conversion data.

Using ETC to make marketing decisions allows you to take into account the complete customer journey. It can be used to great effect alongside Universal Analytics and Google Tag Manager, which let advertisers measure cross-channel and cross-device performance at a user level. In this solution, a unique identifier tracks individual customer behaviors so you can map their purchase path. The end result? A fuller, more accurate measure of your mobile success.


  • Google Internal Data, 2014
  • Ipsos, 2014
  • Google Consumer Barometer, 2014
  • “Ad Reaction 2014: Marketing in a Multi-screen World”, Millward Brown, April 2014