Adobe has released some interesting findings in its new Digital Marketing Insights Report. Executives involved in marketing, e-commerce and retail sales need to pay attention -- tablets are taking over the PC/laptop.

The 2011 Buying Habits Point to Tablets

This was a pretty big study: Adobe analyzed 16.2 billion anonymous visits to the websites of over 150 top U.S. retailers in 2011 (and particularly during the holiday season). What they found was that, overall, shoppers using tablets spent more than those using smartphone or traditional PCs/laptops. Should this be a surprise? No, but it should be a wake-up call.

The report indicates that tablet users spent 50% more per purchase than smartphone users and 20% more than traditional desktop users.


Adobe Digital Marketing Insights Report - Average Order Value (AOV)

But, what's also interesting to note is that tablet users were not the biggest visitors to retail sites:


Adobe Percentage of Visits by Device in 2011.

Why Are Tablets So Popular

In the report, which you can download and read in detail, Adobe provides some possible reasons why tablet sales are so much better. First, they point out that tablet visitors are more affluent and are predominantly male, aged 18-34. Of these visitors, 29% are said to have an average income above US$ 75,000 (according to June 2011 study, A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User, by the Online Publishers Association (OPA)).

Second, Adobe believes that the tablet user experience can be "more conducive to online shopping", and according to its study tablet owners do a lot of their shopping on the weekend (34%), compared to smartphone (27%) shoppers and traditional PC/laptop shoppers (24%).

What it Means for Online Customer Experience Management

So what does this tell us? It tells us a couple of things:

  1. Don't lump your smartphone users and tablet users into a single mobile experience bucket, because they aren't on the same level in terms of value to online sales. Instead, spend more time looking at the tablet user experience and how you can leverage built in capabilities to improve the shopping experience.
  2. Tablet users are a growing market that spend a fair amount more money online than those visiting via PC/Laptop, even though more people visit via traditional PCs. This is a small, but growing, market that cannot be ignored. If you can achieve greater ROI on a smaller market segment, then wouldn't you want to do that?

Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Adobe Digital Marketing Business said:

This study shows the importance of optimizing your 2012 e-tail strategy for tablet visitors to avoid the risk of underserving a highly-profitable, fast-growing customer segment.”

The recent CES show demonstrated some new tablet features that will continue to drive the popularity of this growing market. And with more organizations starting to issue tablets over laptops for employees, you can see where this market is going. How many of you don't spend your TV viewing time with a tablet in hand? That's what I thought. My PC isn't in danger of disappearing any time soon, but I'd do my shopping any day on my iPad.