60% of All Mobile Banner Ad Clicks Are Accidental

Feb 04, 2016

Retale, a location-based mobile platform that helps shoppers save on purchases from their favorite retailers and brands, announced the results of a commissioned study examining mobile advertising's so-called "fat finger" problem: that many clicks on mobile banner ads may be accidental due to finger scrolling on devices with small screens. The study, polling 500 adult mobile users across the U.S. between January 18-25, 2016, focused on several aspects of mobile banner ad engagement, from accidental clicks to perceived overall value.

Nearly 70% (69%) of those surveyed identified at least one occasion where they had clicked on a mobile banner ad (within mobile web or app). When asked to pick the mobile channels in which they typically encounter these ads, the majority of respondents - 65% - said they did so "while surfing the Web or reading the news." The top-5 was rounded out by "using social media" (50%), "playing games" (47%), "watching videos" (45%) and, finally, "listening to music" (45%).

60% of all respondents said that, when they typically click on banner ads while on a smartphone or tablet, "it's usually by accident" due to the device's small screen size, a finger slipping or a combination of the two. Only 16% said that they click on mobile banner ads because they "like the company, product or service being promoted," with just 13% saying they do so because "the ads are interesting."

The respondents were provided a list of 10 "positive" and "negative" emotions to describe "how they felt" after accidentally clicking a mobile banner ad. The top-three emotions selected were all negative - "annoyed" (68%), "frustrated" (45%) and "angry" (22%) and the bottom-three were all positive - "excited" (3%), "satisfied" (5%) and "calm" (6%). 

When asked how likely they might be to look closely at a mobile banner ad and check out the company, product or service featured after accidentally clicking, more than two-thirds (64%) said "unlikely" and only 29% said "likely."

Whether clicked on purpose or accidentally, mobile banner ads, overall, had little value to survey participants. 66% called mobile banner ads "useless" and "not very useful."