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Tablets edge out smartphones for website traffic

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12th Mar 2013
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New research has revealed that tablets have now overtaken smartphones to become the primary device for mobile browsing.

Adobe analysed more than 100bn visits to 1,000+ websites and found that 8% of total global traffic share come from tablets, compared to 7% from smartphones; the remaining 84% came from desktop or laptop computers.

According to the report, tablets drive more traffic because internet users prefer them for more in depth visits such as surf­ing the web, engag­ing with video, or shop­ping online. Consumers were shown to mainly use tablets for retail and ecommerce related activities whilst tele­com provider web­sites experienced the largest share of traf­fic from smart­phones as con­sumers check and pay their phone bills.

In terms of variance by region, the research showed that all tablet traf­fic growth has been con­sis­tent through 2012 with all coun­tries seeing their share of traf­fic from tablets dou­ble over the course of last year. Tablet traf­fic is highest in the UK, followed by the US, Canada and Australia.

So what do the findings mean for marketers?

“A smart­phone opti­mized site is not the same as a tablet opti­mized site. Mar­keters should keep in mind that con­sumers use their var­i­ous mobile devices dif­fer­ently

“The data shows that tablet use is only increas­ing, but is form fac­tor what really mat­ters most? Phones are get­ting big­ger, tablets are get­ting smaller. 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 most 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,” said Adobe.

In May last year, Adobe forecast that tablet devices will generate more web traffic than smartphones or personal computers by 2013. 

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