How Tablets Are Overtaking Smartphones in mCommerce

How_Tablets_Are_Overtaking_Smartphones_in_MCommerceBack in March, we revealed some rather surprising stats – mcommerce via tablets was rivalling mcommerce via smartphones despite the vastly superior penetration levels of the latter.And the latest stats released on the impact of tablets on mobile search, mobile traffic and mobile commerce demonstrate their growing influence.Tablets Now Account for 40% of All Retail Searches on Mobile DevicesThe latest figures from the British Retail Consortium and Google Retail Monitor demonstrate that tablets - of which Apple's iPad has by far the largest market share - are punching way above their weight in terms of their share of retail related mobile searches. Despite have only 1/7 the penetration of smartphones, they're accounting for almost half of all retail searches on mobile devices.And retail searches on mobile devices are increasing rapidly – up by 113% in Q2 2012 vs. Q2 2011 compared to an overall increase in retail searches on all devices (i.e. PC, laptop, smartphone and tablet) of just 9%. As a result, mobile retail searches now comprise 20% of all retail searches, compared to just 10% this time last year.US Marketers are Shifting Their Paid Search Budgets into TabletsPenetration of tablet devices may be higher in the US than in the UK, but tablet adoption in the UK is only going in one direction and so US trends represent the shape of things to come.  And US marketers are moving their paid search budgets into tablets.Devices like the iPad and the Kindle Fire were allocated 7% of search spend in Q2 2012 compared to just 5% in Q1 - a marked increase within a short time frame.No doubt as a reflection of the extra resource allocated, the share of click throughs on tablets also increased by 33% to 8%, although click thru share still lagged smartphones at 10%.55% of mCommerce Sales Come via the iPadAccording to statistics from Affiliate Window, iPad m-commerce is now outstripping smartphone m-commerce by 55% to 45% (29% iPhone, 11% Android, 3% Blackberry and 2% Other).Mcommerce sales represented 7% of all sales in April 2012, up from just 2% in January 2011.In some ways these stats are hardly surprising. Despite UK penetration levels of only c8%, tablets do offer a vastly superior browsing and shopping experience to the small screen of a smartphone, particularly when researching or purchasing premium and luxury products.  And their importance is only going to grow with new models crowding the market, including Google’s Nexus Play and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.The challenge for marketers is not only to optimise their site for tablets – and the popularity of the Nexus Play and the possible launch of an iPad 7 inch may necessitate taking account of different screen sizes in the future too – but to re-appraise and re-balance their search budgets between PC, smartphone and iPad to ensure they’re achieving the optimum return on investment.

MobileNeil Cunningham