SALT LAKE CITY -- Tablets began driving more traffic to websites than smartphones for the first time, starting last month, according to Adobe.
Published amid the 2013 Adobe Summit this week, the software provider attributed this shift primarily to the device's form factor, which lends itself to leisurely (and more comfortable) browsing than smaller touch devices.
There are a few immediate takeaway points here, starting with the simple conclusion that tablets and smartphones are two different animals. Based on consumer use cases, one does not replace the other because mobile device owners are using tablets and smartphones to accomplish different tasks.
For reference, the report is based upon data from the Adobe Digital Index, which analyzed 100 billion visits to more than 1,000 websites worldwide over the last year.
To get a better idea, Adobe hinted that consumers are more likely to use smartphones to stream music or quickly check bank statements, while tablets are prime for shopping.
For example, Adobe found that 13.5 percent of all online sales were transacted via tablets during the recent holiday season.
Furthermore, as of January 2012, researchers found that consumers using tablets spent 54 percent more time per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19 percent more than desktop/laptop users.
The department that should really be paying attention here is marketing, because when it comes to digital advertising and marketing -- especially for anything related to e-commerce -- this is where the money is.
But aside from just comprehending the differences in form factors, Adobe acknowledged there are more challenges afloat:
Google has just announced that it will lump tablet searches in with desktop searches, but the latest tablets not only look like large smartphones, they have now adopted the most fundamental of smartphone capabilities—the ability to make phone calls. Marketers can’t rely on screen size anymore to determine and deliver the moat appropriate experience. They’ll need to pay attention to connection type (wifi vs cellular), and referral source along with form factor to prioritize which options to offer the user.