Adobe: Tablet users spend 54% more than smartphone shoppers

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Tablet users who visited e-commerce websites in 2011 spent 54% more per purchase than smartphone visitors and 21% more than desktop or laptop visitors, according to a Jan. 19 report by Adobe Systems.

The inaugural Adobe Digital Marketing Insights report also found that tablet shoppers are almost three times more likely to buy products and services online than smartphone users. John Mellor, VP of strategy and business development in the Adobe Digital Marketing Business Unit, said that these findings should encourage retailers to be more sophisticated about their approach to mobile.

“Retailers need to stop thinking of mobile as one big category that includes tablets and smartphones,” he said. “Having a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile is like saying you have one Internet strategy. Retailers would benefit by segmenting tablet users and smartphone users into different buckets.”

While many people own both smartphones and tablets, Mellor said that their shopping behaviors on each device is different and is still worth segmenting.

Austin Bankhead, director of industry marketing at Adobe, said that while tablet users represent a much smaller portion of shoppers overall, this segment cannot be ignored because they are so highly engaged. “Retailers should identify these segments and target them directly,” he said. “This group is highly responsive to promotions. They aren't just using tablets to browse, they pull the trigger and buy.”

The study also pointed out that tablet users were more likely to shop on weekends. “These shoppers are more relaxed,” said Bankhead. “It is this underlying behavioral difference between tablet shoppers and smartphone shoppers, and it is a demographic that is worthwhile for segmenting.”

Adobe's data come from the analysis of 16.2 billion anonymous visits to more than 150 leading retail sites in the U.S. The research found that tablet users were particularly active during the holidays — conversion rates on Black Friday were 36% and 68% on Cyber Monday. In addition, average order values on the two shopping days exceeded holiday order averages by as much as 16%.

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