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Adobe Systems' ground breaking study evaluated how purchasing behaviour is impacted by the device consumers used to visit retail websites. 

In the study, one of the most comprehensive of its kind, Adobe analyzed 16.2 billion anonymous visits to the websites of more than 150 top U.S. retailers. 
Results showed that, during the 2011 holiday season and throughout 2011, tablet visitors spent more per purchase than visitors using smartphones or traditional desktops and laptops, suggesting that tablet visitors were the most valuable online customers in 2011. 
Key Report Findings Included
  • Tablet visitors spent 54 percent more than smartphone visitors and 21 percent more per purchase than desktop/laptop visitors. 
  • Tablet visitors were nearly three times more likely to buy products and services online than smartphone visitors and were nearly as likely to purchase as desktop/laptop visitors.

 

"Adobe has long championed the need for retailers to optimize their sites for mobile visitors, and the results of this study indicate that tablet devices have become an absolutely critical new sales channel that marketers must address head-on," said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Adobe Digital Marketing Business. "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." 
 
Optimizing websites for mobile devices, such as smartphones, is now becoming common practice. However, with the emergence of the iPad and Android(TM) tablets, companies now face additional mobile optimization requirements in order to provide enticing online shopping experiences. If retailers treat mobile and tablet optimization strategies alike, they may fail to leverage the power of tablet visitors, which the study suggests, convert nearly three times more frequently than smartphone visitors. 
 
The Adobe study suggests that demographics of tablet visitors, as well as the flexibility of the overall tablet user experience, contribute to higher tablet visitor profitability. Tablet visitors are typically males between the ages of 18-34 years old and tend to be more affluent than other online shoppers. Higher income levels among tablet owners is just one part of the story. Tablet users also have higher usage rates over the weekend, when there is more time to shop online. 

 

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