Tablets Now the Device of Choice – Marketers Take Note: E-Commerce and Tablets Go Hand-In-Hand

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It’s official. Tablets have overtaken Smartphones as the device of choice.

Adobe’s Digital Index, released March 7, uncovered that, for the first time, global tablet traffic surpassed that of Smartphones. Tablets generate eight percent of all Internet traffic compared to Smartphones’ seven percent.

“We’ve been keep­ing a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off,” wrote Adobe’s Digital Index manager and primary analyst Tyler White in a blog post.  “Just a year ago in Jan­u­ary we uncov­ered that vis­i­tors using tablets spend 54 percent more per online order than their coun­ter­parts on Smart­phones, and 19 percent more than desktop/laptop users.

“Now we know that not only is tablet traf­fic more valu­able in terms of e-com­merce and engage­ment, tablets have also become the pri­mary device for mobile browsing,” he added.

White said while Smartphones are the more common device, tablets are better for browsing and, on aver­age, Inter­net users view 70 percent more pages per visit when brows­ing with a tablet com­pared to a Smartphone.

tablets graph 2

The U.K. loves tablets

Smart­phone traf­fic in the U.K. is comparable to traffic in U.S. and Canada, but tablet use is much higher, espe­cially when com­pared to the rest of the world. Inter­net users in the U.K. are far more likely than those in France or Ger­many to browse via both tablets and Smart­phones. In Japan and China, how­ever, Smart­phones are the device of choice for Internet browsing.

“This is not sur­pris­ing given the Smart­phone capa­bil­i­ties that have existed in Japan for years and the high costs of tablets and high speed mobile access in China,” White said.

Although tablet use varies from region to region, traf­fic growth was con­sis­tent in 2012. Traf­fic from tablets dou­bled in all countries last year — a trend White said will con­tinue through 2013.

tablets graph 3

What does the rise of tablets mean for marketers?

“Con­sumers all over the world are try­ing out their tablets for the first time and it only takes one bad web­site expe­ri­ence for them to decide to go else­where,” White said, adding a Smart­phone opti­mized site is not the same as a tablet opti­mized site.

“Mar­keters should keep in mind that con­sumers use their var­i­ous mobile devices dif­fer­ently,” he said. “They might turn to their phone to check their bank state­ment or to stream music, but use their tablet to shop for a new couch. They want more per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ences. When they opt for their tablet they aren’t just price com­par­ing, they’re pur­chas­ing. They aren’t just watch­ing a video clip; they’re explor­ing and engag­ing with con­tent. They’ll be dis­ap­pointed if they’re not able to take advan­tage of the smooth touch inter­face and awe­some screen res­o­lu­tion of their new toy.”

Adobe’s Digital Index data revealed another trend: while Smartphones are get­ting big­ger, tablets are get­ting smaller. The newest tablets not only look like a larger Smart­phones, they now have the abil­ity to make phone calls as well.

“Mar­keters can’t rely on screen size any­more to deter­mine and deliver the most appro­pri­ate expe­ri­ence,” White said. “They’ll need to pay atten­tion to con­nec­tion type (Wi-Fi versus cel­lu­lar), and refer­ral source along with form fac­tor to pri­or­i­tize which options to offer the user.

“Think about it. Why do you choose to use your tablet instead of your phone if you have both? What dif­fer­ent expec­ta­tions do you have? Now apply that to your customer’s expe­ri­ence.”

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Tablets Now the Device of Choice

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