Consumers say “Put it on my tab”
After analyzing more than 100 billion visits to 1000+ websites world-wide, Adobe Digital Index has discovered that global websites are now getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones, 8% and 7% of monthly page views respectively. Pretty impressive for a device category that was introduced less than three years ago!
We’ve been keeping a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off. Just a year ago in January we uncovered that visitors using tablets spend 54% more per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19% more than desktop/laptop users. During the past holiday shopping season we saw that 13.5% of all online sales were transacted via tablets. And last month before the Super Bowl we learned that online viewership via tablets doubles during big sporting events. Now we know that not only is tablet traffic more valuable in terms of ecommerce and engagement, tablets have also become the primary device for mobile browsing.
Tablets drive more traffic because internet users prefer them for more in depth visits.
Smartphones remain much more common, but the tablet form factor makes it ideal for browsing. Whether it be leisurely surfing the web, engaging with video, or shopping online, on average internet users view 70% more pages per visit when browsing with a tablet compared to a smartphone.
Internet users in the UK are most likely to surf via tablet.
While smartphone traffic in the UK is similar to that seen in US and Canada, tablet traffic is much higher, especially when compared to the rest of the world. Internet users in the UK are much more likely than their French and German counterparts to browse via both tablets and smartphones. In Japan and China, however, smartphones remain the mobile browsing device of choice. 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.
All countries saw tablet traffic double in the past year.
Despite the variance by region, tablet traffic growth has been consistent through 2012. All countries saw their share of traffic from tablets double over the course of last year and that trend is expected to continue through 2013. The UK, Canada, and Australia did see a slight dip in the share of traffic from tablets during November even as total tablet traffic continued to grow due to a temporary surge in PC traffic.
Tablets are preferred for retail & ecommerce related activities.
We know that the larger form factor of tablets makes them ideal for couch shopping. The data bears this out as retail websites receive the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries. Automotive and travel shopping sites similarly get a significant share of traffic from tablets. It should be no surprise that telecom provider websites see the largest share of traffic from smartphones as consumers check and pay their phone bills.
So 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. 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. They might turn to their phone to check their bank statement or to stream music, but use their tablet to shop for a new car. 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.
The data shows that tablet use is only increasing, but is form factor what really matters most? Phones are getting bigger, tablets are getting smaller. Google has just announced that it will lump tablet searches in with desktop searches, but the latest tablets not only look like large smartphones, they have now adopted the most fundamental of smartphone capabilities—the ability to make phone calls. Marketers can’t rely on screen size anymore to determine and deliver the most appropriate experience. They’ll need to pay attention to connection type (wifi vs 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. Comment below or tell me about them @tyrwhite and I’ll look to see if the data backs up your experience.