Move Faster on Tablet... Even Faster!

By ​John Healy

July 24, 2013

While I’m still hearing a lot about mobile commerce, or m-commerce, more and more people are asking me about tablet commerce, or t-commerce, strategies—and now I know why.

When I arrived at Monetate earlier this year, one of the first projects that caught my attention was our Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ) research. After making sure I read the year’s worth of great stats and commentary found in each release, it was apparent to me that marketers must start treating their website visitors on tablets different than customers using smartphones. Forget conventional marketing wisdom that lumps smartphone and tablet users into the same category called “mobile.”

shutterstock_127447031 Case in point: In the first quarter of this year, tablets eked out more visits to ecommerce sites than smartphones, representing 10.6% of all ecommerce website traffic. On the device side, both Apple and Kindle's share of tablet traffic is actually down, and Android's share of tablet traffic to ecommerce websites grew to 8.2%.

Then there’s one of ecommerce marketers’ favorite key performance indicators: conversion rates. This alone continues to make the case for marketers to stop treating smartphone and tablet users the same. Conversion rates on smartphones over the past five calendar quarters never reached 1%; tablet shoppers reached a conversion rate in Q1 of 2.6%, actually surpassing traditional desktop and laptop computers!

So based on these stats, whether you’re employing responsive design (or plan to) or are creating your own tablet website and you think you’re moving pretty fast, my advice is to move faster.

In fact, I would argue the need to put aside your app project and focus right away on the website experience for your smartphone and tablet users. You’re probably familiar with a company called Amazon. Well, its website was accessed by 35% of U.S. smartphone users, compared to the Amazon mobile app, which was used by just 13%, according to an Arbitron study conducted earlier this year.

Tablet is the single biggest innovation in ecommerce in a while, and there’s still plenty of room for it to grow. You’re losing sales every day by not optimizing the customer experience for both smartphone and tablets, but I would suggest paying more attention to tablets.

 

Holding Touch Screen Tablet 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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