A Tablet Takeover's Coming. Are You Ready?

By ​John Healy

February 27, 2014

This summer, I wrote a blog post suggesting that digital marketers in the ecommerce space accelerate the timelines of their tablet optimization projects. If you’ve read our latest Ecommerce Quarterly report, released earlier this week, you probably know why I’m coming back to this today.Tablet & Shopping Cart

If you didn’t, here’s a CliffsNotes version (though I really do suggest you read the full report for yourself)—buried inside the overall mobile commerce numbers was the fact that tablets were a huge revenue driver this holiday season.

Consumers aren’t just turning more often to their tablets to browse—they’re using them to make significant purchases. In the November/December holiday shopping season:

  • Tablet market share grew 53% year-over-year to 14.58%.

  • Tablet AOV grew at 17.27% year-over-year to $153.44.

By themselves, each of these points help illustrate the explosive growth of tablets. But, taken together, you can begin to see changes in overall customer behavior.

Tablet AOV, for example, is far more similar to desktop and laptop AOV (a November/December AOV of $164.13) than it is to smartphone AOV (a November/December AOV of $129.42). Conversion rates, too, are far greater on tablets (2.59% in Q4 2013) than they are on smartphones (1.01% in Q4 2013). But the most interesting statistic is the fact that explosive tablet growth coincided with explosive growth in traffic to ecommerce sites during the weekends leading up to Christmas (a traditionally light time for online shopping).

I don’t see any way this is going to slow down. In fact, tablets will likely be close to taking the title of “consumer shopping vehicle of choice” come Holiday 2014. All the while, they’ll continue changing consumer habits.

This might be surprising to some of you. It might even feel intimidating. But it does come with some good news: You have a head-start on where to focus your strategy for the year ahead.

So, start planning by answering this question: What are you doing about tablets?

Tablet & shopping cart image courtesy of Shutterstock.

John Healy is the former COO of Monetate. Prior to joining Monetate, he was the Group CEO of GSI Marketing Services, an eBay Company.

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