Retail marketers and mobile strategists are putting a lot of effort into reaching their mobile audience, mostly to raise brand awareness and increase online sales. With those improvements and innovations, we’ve seen a corresponding rise in tablet web traffic. As of February 2013, an Adobe survey revealed that tablet web traffic had surpassed smartphone web traffic for the first time in the U. S. Additionally, the web traffic from tablets already accounts for 10% of the global traffic on retail websites. NPD Display Search has forecasted that 2013 will ultimately show U. S. tablet sales being greater than computer sales. These statistics and forecasts are magch just the beginning of the arguments for why retailers should keep their eyes on the tablet and consider utilizing the tablet for their personal mobile commerce strategy.

Tablet Owners Comprise a large, Growing Audience.

mPortal and Parks Associates have reported the number of US tablet users will show a 61% increase from 2013 to 2014. Similarly, IHS iSupply forecasts that in 2015, more than 50% of Americans will own a tablet. With these kinds of numbers, retailers would be hard-pressed to ignore the tablet as a means of extending and changing the customer shopping experience for the better. Tablets owners should no longer be a secondary target.

Tablets Are used for Online Shopping More than Any other Mobile Device.

According to the Adobe 2013 Digital Publishing Report, 55% of tablets owners and 30% of smartphone users already use their device for shopping. eMarketer’s 2013 study showed that of the number of online shopping transactions, tablets make up 17% of the total 24%. On the same note, tablet online sales are predicted to grow at a faster pace than smartphone online sales. Clearly, the tablet has become a solid avenue for online shopping and will only continue to prove to be a more powerful one.

Tablet Owners Spend more Than Other Mobile Device Shoppers.

Compared to other avenues for online shopping, tablet owners spend significantly more than both smartphone shoppers and computer shoppers. According to the 2013 Adobe Digital Index, it was found that tablet owners spend around 54% more per transaction than smartphone shoppers and 20% more per transaction than computer users. The numbers are strong enough evidence to point to the necessity of extending one’s mobile commerce strategy to the tablet.

Tablet Users Are generally Better Customers.

Former Hautelook CMO Greg Bettinelli spoke to the breakdown of Hautelook. com’s online traffic. 50% of the traffic stems from mobile devices, Bettinelli said, with 55% of that traffic being from smartphones and 45% from tablets. Though for Hautelook. com specifically, tablet users contribute less to overall sales than smartphones do, Bettinelli speaks to quality of customers over quantity. “Tablet transactions are on average 50% bigger than ones on iphones, ” Bettinelli says. “If we make $2 for every person on an iphone, we make $2. 50 for desktop users and $3 for ipad shoppers. An ipad is a pre-qualifier for a better customer, a lot of our better customers have iPads. I can’t say it’s fully because of the device. The device is a good experience, but it’s not that much better than the computer, so it’s as much about the customer who uses that device. An ipad is an indicator of the quality of a customer. “

“So the message to retailers should be… when you’re thinking about driving that purchase decision and purchase intent, you need to think about how tablets play into your strategy, ” said Lynly Schambers-Lenox, Group Product Marketing Manager at Digital Publishing at Adobe.

With these strong facts supporting tablets, it is readily apparent that tablets should be the central focus of one’s mobile commerce strategy. It can provide the customer with an innovative shopping experience and, for the retailer, bring in quality customers and better customer relations. Not only is the number of tablet owners on the rise, but so is the frequency with which these user shop online and the amount of how much they spend online. The tablet is creating a strong customer base that retailers would be foolish to ignore and not tap into. The tablet is a rising star and is demanding attention.

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