Marketers should be prepared as tablets trump smartphones in web traffic

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 11, 2013

Adobe DigitalIn spite of smartphones remaining much more common, it seems the tablet form factor makes it ideal for browsing as internet users prefer more in depth visits. 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 respectably.

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. Just a year ago in January visitors using tablets spent 54% more per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19% more than desktop/laptop users.

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.

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 couch. 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 moat 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.