Tablets trumping smartphones as browsing tools

Tablets trumping smartphones as browsing tools
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Even though they were introduced less than three years ago, more people are using tablets over smartphones to access the Internet, a global study of 100 billion Internet visits to more than 1000 websites has found.

While still only representing a fraction of the entire market, with tablets accounting for 8% of all visits and mobiles 7%, the speed of tablets growth is nothing short of staggering.

The Adobe Digital Index has also discovered that tablets are the online shopper’s weapon of choice. The study found that web browsers using tablets spent 54% more per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19% more than desktop/laptop users.

During the US 2012 shopping season, Adobe discovered that 13.5% of all online sales were transacted via tablets. The analysis also discovered during the Super Bowl (US gridiron grand final) online viewership via tablets doubles during big sporting events. Adobe says that this means that not only is tablet traffic more valuable in terms of ecommerce and engagement, but tablets have also become the primary device for mobile browsing.

While smartphones are far more common, tablets are purpose-built for browsing so it makes sense that on average Internet users view 70% more pages per visit when browsing with a tablet compared to a smartphone.

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. The UK, Canada, and Australia did see a slight dip in the share of traffic from tablets during November even as total tablet traffic continued to grow due to a temporary surge in PC traffic.

The larger form factor of tablets makes them ideal for couch shopping. The data bears this out as retail websites receive the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries. Automotive and travel shopping sites similarly get a significant share of traffic from tablets. It should be no surprise that telecom provider websites see the largest share of traffic from smartphones as consumers check and pay their phone bills.

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