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Tablets overtake smartphones in ecommerce

Self-proclaimed online marketing optimisation technology and conversion experts Monetate have revealed research that showcases how tablet shoppers are rapidly changing online shopping. An infographic from the company shows massive growth in tablet sales. This has led, in the sites Monetate tracks, to the share in visits attributed to PCs dropping from 94 per cent in Q1 2011 to 88 per cent in Q1 2012. The increase in traffic from tablets during that same period is reported to be 348 per cent, and tablet marketshare has also, in that one year, leapfrogged visits from smartphones.

With the majority of online shoppers reportedly using their tablets in the living room or bedroom, Monetate has quipped that the era of ‘couch commerce’ is now underway, and it points to a few key tips that can increase your chances of success in this growing sector:

  • Ensure your sites function properly on a tablet (for example, in not relying on ‘hover’ states, which don’t yet exist on touch interfaces).
  • Use larger navigation that’s touch-friendly, especially for add-to-cart buttons.
  • Work with responsive web design that, where necessary, reconfigures a site to be suitable for tablets, but without you having to author an entirely separate website.

Where possible, you should of course test on a device, too. With Monetate stating the majority of traffic comes from the iPad (95 per cent, despite Apple’s share in tablet sales lurking at around 70 per cent), Apple’s device should be your first port of call, but grabbing a 7-inch Android as well (and live-testing using Adobe Shadow) could be a very smart move if tablet sales trends continue.