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Shopper Experience

Forget Smartphone – Why E-Commerce Should Invest Into Tablet in 2014

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013 saw record online retail sales supported by strong growth in mobile use by consumers. At Yottaa, we studied online shopping during 2012 and 2013 thanksgiving holidays, and looked for key trends and correlations in the data. Read the full report (direct download) to get details on the latest trends.

A key finding from our report is that tablet shopping is the largest untapped opportunity.  Smartphone conversion rate increased a jaw-dropping 51.6% from 2012 to 2013, but a repeat of such incredible growth this year is unlikely.  If, on the other hand, eCommerce companies allocated resources to optimizing for tablets, the devices could perhaps achieve parity with PCs in conversion rate.  

Yes, Mobility Is Growing Fast

The percentage of Thanksgiving holiday shopping traffic from mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets, grew from 24.3% in 2012 to 34.7% in 2013, while the PC traffic percentage shrank in kind, from 75.8% to 65.2%.

Revenue wise, the percentage from mobile devices grew from 16.3% in 2012 to 22.4% in 2013, while PC revenue slice shrank from 83.6% to 77.7%.


Smart Phone Shopping Saw Huge Growth, But Is It Tapped Out?

Mobile was the eCommerce trend in the past year.  Vendors realized that many users were viewing their sites on mobile phones, but dismal mobile conversion rates meant they had cater better to those visitors.  Accordingly, vendors invested signficantly in creating smart phone-specific shopping experiences in 2012 and 2013.  The result: The average conversion rate for smart phone visitors grew 51.6% YoY, while the growth of conversion rate on PC and Tablet were stuck at 3.0% and 2.6%.

That being said, the average conversion rate on smart phone is still 70% lower than on PC, showing there is still a higher barrier in convincing consumers to conduct transactions on smart phones.  It is to be seen whether further improvements in mobile experience can ever bring this conversion rate to parity with more comfortable platforms, PC and tablet.


Tablet Shopping Is Now The Great Untapped Opportunity

Few ecommerce vendors have invested in creating tablet-specific shopping experiences, with many assuming PC-optimized sites will deliver the right experience on tablet.  The data shows that assumption to be wrong.  Growth in conversion rate growth on tablet was actually slower than on PCs, despite the increasing proliferation and use of the devices.  Considering that smart phone conversion rate grew a whopping 51% year over year, we can guess that if eCommerce vendors directed resources to crafting tablet experiences, as they have done for mobile, tablet conversions would rise at least as fast as PCs, or faster.
Tablet shopping is the untapped opportunity. Smart vendors would invest into it and will see a huge increase of conversion rate from tablets next year.

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