Tablets Trump Smartphones Yet Again

by Net Future Institute on March 12, 2013

There’s been a bit of recent research pointing to the significant role of tablets in mobile commerce.

At the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit in Florida last month, a particular stat from an Adobe speaker caught my attention. Tamara Gaffney, senior manager, digital index at Adobe, said that their research was starting to show that websites globally were getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones.

This struck me as a bit of a head-scratcher at the time, since there are so many more phones than tablets that can access the Web.

The final research report containing that stat just came out and there are it turned out to be true, as well as highlighting even more nuggets relating to tablets and commerce. The study was quite massive in scale, involving an analysis of more than 100 billion visits to more than 1,000 websites around the world.

For some reason, tablet traffic is much higher in the U.K. than the rest of the world while smartphones still rule over tablets in Japan and China.

From a mobile commerce standpoint, the big news is that retail websites receive the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries. Other sites that receive a significant share of traffic from tablets are automotive and travel.

Consumers also are paying bills by tablet, with the largest share of traffic going to telecom provider websites.

Other research has indicated that smartphones were used for research but that tablets were more preferred for the actual purchase and the Adobe study is consistent with that.

Already hammered by showrooming and various other in-store mobile behaviors like price comparisons, retailers now must accommodate the tablet shopper.

Interestingly, as tablet sizes shrink and smartphone sizes grow, commerce seems to gravitate to the larger screens.

However, mobile commerce is no longer only the activity of the physical purchase; it is a continuous, multi-screen, multi-device activity and smartphones are used for shorter visits, tablets for longer.

Sellers need to be in all places all the time. That’s where the mobile shoppers are.

 

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