From Content Consumption to Commerce, Tablets Lead Smartphones

In a newly published study, it is found that tablets now lead smartphones in helping to drive e-commerce. While the larger displays of tablets was a driving force behind content consumption in the past, slates are now also driving consumption in commerce as well. According to Monetate, which analyses online commerce, tablets now lead smartphones in visiting e-commerce sites and is outpacing growth of smartphones in that space.


In the first quarter of 2012, tablet traffic to e-commerce websites now account for 6.52 percent of traffic while smartphones account for only 5.35 percent of traffic. While smartphone visits to e-commerce websites are increasing by 117 percent year-over-year, tablet traffic is growing by 348 percent. The increase in commerce traffic by tablets comes at the expense of PC visitors doing online shopping with PC visits dropping by 4 percent to account for 88 percent of traffic. Monetate predicts that PC visits will fall to under 75 percent by next year.

The research firm says that smartphones will continue to be a useful shopping tool for users, allowing users to compare prices, reviews, and product information online.

Tablets, however, haven’t been fully exploited according to Monetate, which says that websites can still do more to optimize websites for a tablet user experience with larger navigation buttons. As there are already mobile, or smartphone-specific, web portals, in the future we may begin to see tablet-centric websites at more e-commerce sites.

The report, published on GigaOM shows that tablets are doing well in converting visits into purchases. The rate of conversion for tablets is roughly 3.23 percent, which trails PCs at 3.51 percent but leads smartphones, which have a low 1.39 percent conversion rate. Scores were also comparable between tablet users and PC users for when items are added to shopping carts as PC owners added items to their carts at a rate of 10.2 percent compared to 9.66 percent for tablet owners and 4.25 percent for smartphone owners.