5 Facts About Tablets Every Marketer Needs to Know

5_Facts_About_Tablets_Every_Marketer_Needs_to_KnowThe latest figures from YouGov suggest that tablet penetration has now reached 22%. eMarketer predict that by the end of 2016, that figure will be approaching 36%.A device owned by almost 1/4 of the population is not something that marketers can afford to ignore. But who's using them and how?  Here are 5 facts that will help to answer those questions.1. More Women Than Men Own TabletsEarly adopters of technology tend to be affluent men, and until this year, men were in the majority when it came to tablet ownership.  However, a recent survey from YouGov estimates that 52% of tablet owners are now women - up from 43% last year.What's driven this growth?  The arrival of mini tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Apple's iPad Mini is one reason. The other is the growth in the 'secondary' or 'hand-me-down' market in tablets as early adopting males upgrade to the latest models while passing or selling on their original purchases.Women dominate most purchase categories so many who have 'parked' tablet specific activity because the tablet owning demographic did not appeal now have cause to re-assess.2. Tablet Owners are More Responsive to Advertising'Banner-blindness' is the scourge of desktop online advertising - the ads are there but consumers just tune them out.'Banner-blindness' has yet to afflict tablets.  A recent study from The Economist and Pew Research Centre found that 49% of tablet owners noticed ads, and that c7% of them actually went on to click on those ads (compare that with the <1% click thru rates for desktop ads).Research from the US found that tablet owners were far more likely to click on ads than smartphone owners and they were also more likely to research or purchase a product after seeing an ad.3. Tablets are Fuelling the Growth in SearchOnline Retail Monitor reported that between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013 retail-related search volumes on tablets grew 132%. That compares to growth over the same period on smartphones of 66% and on all devices of just 15%.As tablets are often used for 'second screening' (72% of tablet owners use their device while watching TV) and whilst on the go, it would suggest that marketers would be advised to at least appraise the pros and cons of search campaigns bespoke to tablets.4. Tablets are Driving the Growth in M-CommerceAccording to estimates from eMarketer, sales attributable to tablets will overtake sales attributable to smartphones in the UK this year despite only having 1/3 the penetration.By 2017, it's estimated that 70% of mcommerce sales in the UK - or £12bn - will be attributable to tablets alone.5. Younger Users Prefer Apps to the Mobile WebYounger tablet users prefer apps when it comes to shopping on their tablet, older users prefer the mobile web according to a May 2013 survey from Deloitte.Nearly half of the respondents aged between 16 and 24 preferred using apps when doing their shopping although that proportion steadily decreased among older consumers, reaching just 14% for those aged 45 to 64.  Only 1/4 of companies have iPad apps.The conclusions from these 5 facts?  For us, they highlight important differences between the use of tablets and the use of smartphones in the customer journey.As we recently discussed, smartphones often start the purchase journey, and then support key parts of it like store location and in-store price comparison. But online purchases that start on a smartphone are often completed on a desktop. Tablets play a more 'complete' role in the customer journey - not only being the device on which that journey is prompted or starts, but also the device on which it continues to its conclusion, whether that be via a shopping app or the mobile web.Having one mobile strategy is no longer enough. Marketers clearly need two - one for smartphones and one for tablets.

MobileGraham Painter