Is it Finally Time for Tablet Commerce?

It seems the last 5 consecutive years have been touted as the “Year of the Mobile” in terms of ecommerce. And certainly in the last 5 years, the growth in mobile has come from tablets more than smartphones.

Adobe Digital Index analyzed 23 billion visits to websites around the globe and found the share of visits from tablets has grown approximately 10 time faster than smartphones within 2 years after they hit the market, and more than 300% in the last year. Adobe forecasts tablet visit share will reach 10% of total website traffic by early 2014.

According to research by Skava, only 7% of retailers have tablet-friendly sites.

It boils down to 4 things:

1. Growth of tablet use

It’s undeniable that tablet use is growing. Tablets are expected to outship PCs by 2016. In terms of ecommerce use, tablets already grew between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 significantly.

2. Higher AOV

Tablet owners are more affluent and spend more. Several studies have demonstrated this, including Adobe’s. Conversion rates are very close to PCs.

3. Higher weekend use vs. desktop

People use their tablets for fun. Tablet shopping actually surpasses desktop on the weekends.

4. Tablets as effective as PCs

Adobe studied user effectiveness comparable to PCs and f

For media consumption (video, music, magazines, newpapers, ebooks), consumers rated tablets and PCs identical in terms of usability and effectiveness to achieve purpose of their visit. Digital goods sellers’ tablet strategy should be as high a priority as Web.

Other types of ecommerce sites have some room to grow, but consider that many retail sites don’t have tablet-optimal websites which may be bringing down the average.

Move forward with tablet commerce in 2013

  • Usability test tablet experiences on a variety of models, including web-enabled e-readers. Use your web analytics to prioritize which tablets drive you highest traffic.
  • Dedicate pay per click campaigns to tablets. Google Adwords allows you to target tablets specifically. Measure tablet campaign performance and bids separately. It may make sense to create dayparted campaigns for weekends.
  • Invest in apps when there is a business case to do so. An HTML5 site can work like an app, but some brands and sites will benefit from native features of an app like GPS, shake and gestures.

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