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Tablet users are big spenders compared to smartphone users: report

By
January 31, 2013

Tablet users are gravitating toward their devices to make purchases, with 22 percent of users spending $50 or more per month and 9 percent spending $100 or more, according to new research from ABI Research.

The amount spent on purchases by tablet users is much higher than the spending levels observed for smartphone owners. The findings underscore the need for merchants to have table-optimized experiences available for their customers.

“Tablets are not desktops, and the leaders in the space are treating them differently,” said Joey Rahimi, co-founder and chief information officer of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA. “When we build a tablet-optimized site for a client, it actually converts better than simply displaying the desktop version.  

“Now that they have smartphone sites, many of our brands are coming to us for tablet-optimized sites,” he said. “Compared to desktop, these tablet sites are cleaner, easier to navigate, visual, and faster.

“They also incorporate key tablet functionality that users expect, such as larger, tappable links, easy swiping, and portrait and landscape views. On aggregate, when our clients launch a tablet-optimized site, conversion increases by 10 percent.”

Couch commerce
ABI Research’s findings are particularly significant in light of how the tablet market is expected to grow, with the research firm estimating that nearly 200 million tablets have shipped since 2009 and an additional 1 billion are expected to ship over the next five years.

Much of the spending on tablet devices is currently happening inside the home, which means this spending has not yet impacted bricks-and-mortar retailers, which are concerned about their venues turning into showrooms for e-commerce purchases.

The most common activities performed by tablet owners when they are in a store include price checking, using a coupon and location-based searches, which were each performed by 50 percent of tablet shoppers in the previous 90 days while shopping.

The research also found that tablets are increasingly being used in conjunction with other media types – 14 percent for TV and 17 percent for newspapers and magazines – to make the experience more immersive than static content.

More growth to come
Savvy merchants are increasingly recognizing the opportunity that tablets present and developing strategies to address these needs of tablet shoppers.

For example, late last year cataloger Harry and David introduced a Web site experience optimized for tablets to take advantage of a significant increase in traffic from tablet users over the past 12 months (see story).

Branding Brand also reports that tablet shoppers are proving to be big spenders.

“Branding Brand’s January 2013 numbers show that tablet users are spending 13 percent more than smartphone users,” Mr. Rahimi. “This month, the average order size on tablets was $107, compared to $94 on smartphones.

 “Tablet commerce will continue to grow,” he said. “According to our data, tablets will account for 14 percent of all online visits and 15 percent of online revenue by December 2013; this represents a year-over-year growth of 40 percent and 50 percent respectively.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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