Tablets on track for higher conversion, click-through rates than PCs: Report

The post-PC debate moves to the marketing world as a new study highlights the boosts for search advertising and e-commerce thanks to tablets.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Here's more fodder for the post-PC era proponents, this time with a marketing and advertising twist.

It's well-known already that tablets (and mobile devices overall) have enabled an incredible shift in the way consumers research and shop for products online.

After a few years in the marketplace, it is now becoming much more evident (and verifiable) as to just how much of an impact that tablets are making -- for both consumers and the companies targeting them.

A new report from Marin Software, an online advertising management platform provider, focuses on how much tablets are eclipsing the desktop when it comes to search advertising. Here are some of the highlights from the study:

  • Conversion rates on search clicks on tablets increased increased by 31 percent over the course of 2012.
  • By the end of 2013, researchers project the conversion rate for searches originating from tablets will eclipse that of desktop searches.
  • Adversiser spend share on paid search ads on tablets increased from 4.8 percent to 10 percent in 2012.
  • Click-through rates for search ads on tablets were 37 percent higher than ads placed on desktop searches.
  • The average cost-per click (CPC) for paid-search ads on tablets was 17 percent lower than desktops.
  • CPC prices for tablet search ads increased 25 percent in 2012.
  • Researchers are projecting that tablet CPC prices will equal desktop CPCs by end of 2013.

Emphasizing that advertisers need to adapt their online marketing strategies to align with these trends, Marin Software also offered a few tips for smarter mobile campaigns -- much of which focuses on taking advantage of the device itself.

That includes optimizing the user experience for mobile browsers (a particular hindrance cited on smartphones) and targeting users with device-specific copy.

For reference, Marin researchers focused on brands and advertisers that manage more than $4 billion in annualized paid-search spend in more than a dozen countries.

Screenshot via Marin Software

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