Super Bowl 2019: Big Game Fuels Mobile Browsing



February 5, 2019 | 2 min read

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2020

It’s the biggest televised sports event on the US calendar, but is the Super Bowl audience as rapt as we think it is? Do people really give the game their full attention, or is it business as usual in the world of digital retail? We analyzed 80,000 browsing sessions last Sunday to see whether the game had any impact on digital consumers behavior.

Unsurprisingly, we found that many people walked away from their computers to watch the game, with a noticeable dip in desktop traffic around 6pm. In fact, there was a significant 23% decrease in total desktop traffic between 6pm and 10pm from the previous Sunday. Desktop traffic spiked again at 9pm, and then decreased steadily the rest of the night.

Mobile traffic dipped slightly between 5pm and 6pm (-5%), and remained fairly constant until 11pm — a reminder that smartphones do not simply serve an audience ‘on the go,’ but are often a second screen for users who browse while watching television. Not surprisingly then, the remarkable number of Superbowl viewers led to a 9% increase in mobile traffic between 6.30pm and 7pm from the previous Sunday.

The mobile bounce rate rose 6% around 6pm, and then started falling until 10pm, when it rose again by 8%. The average number of page views was comparable to the previous Sunday on both desktop and mobile, and average session time stayed steady on mobile. The average desktop session, however, was 6% shorter than it was last Sunday.

Mobile visitors are seemingly willing to consume as much content as they usually would when browsing on their smartphone, showing the game is not getting in the way of window shopping. In fact, mobile conversions stayed fairly constant throughout the evening, with a couple of highs and lows. The biggest dip in mobile conversion rate from the previous Sunday happened around 7pm, when there was a 10% decrease to the average CVR. By 11pm, however, the conversion rate was up 22% from the previous Sunday.

In conclusion, watching the Super Bowl and window shopping are clearly not mutually exclusive, even though fewer game night journeys seem to end in conversions. Simplifying the purchasing journey, leading customers to product in fewer screens and taps, and streamlining the checkout process will help to shrink the number of abandoned journeys.

For more tips on how to optimize the digital experience for mobile users, read our Mobile Report.