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Tablet Revenue Beating Smartphones

19 Feb, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

PLEASANTON, Calif. – A new study says tablets took over as the devices boosting mobile commerce the most in 2013.

The report from Javelin Strategy & Research, called “Mobile Payments Market: Tablet Payments Surge as Overall Mobile Retail Sales Top $60 Billion,” says in 2013, $59.7 billion in sales were made from mobile devices, up from $20.7 billion in 2012.

The bulk of these sales – $56.6 billion – were made through a mobile site or app while only $3.1 billion was made via a mobile POS. Tablets generated $28.7 billion in mobile commerce during 2013, more than five times the $5.1 billion in revenue reported in 2012.

The report credits the increase in tablet-generated sales to the doubling of tablet ownership year-over-year and suggests the demographics of tablet owners will change: The higher income and lower age skew of tablet owners will start to diminish as the devices become mainstream.

Daniel Van Dyke, a research specialist at Javelin, says tablets will remain in the hands “of the super consumers currently on the devices, but they’ll be joined by everyone else.”

The report also offers tips for retailers on how to approach both smartphone and tablet initiatives. Van Dyke says retailers need to adopt a two-prong strategy to drive tablet commerce: use responsive design to rescale their websites to tablet screens; and develop tablet-optimized mobile applications.

And marketers and retailers should be focusing squarely on tablet-optimized sites and application features that take advantage of the larger screen sizes.

Other findings include:

  • Divided by device, iPad and Kindle Fire shoppers make an average of two monthly purchases while other Android tablet users shop once a month.
  • iPad users spend an average of $30 while Android tablet users – including Kindle Fire owners – average $20.
  • Tablet users are increasingly moving between app and Web experiences in tandem, so the most well-suited marketers will offer both compelling apps and sites.
  • Seventeen percent of mobile shoppers only used a browser to shop. Seventy-two percent of consumers used a combination of mobile Web and app shopping.
  • Sixty-three percent of consumers said that they would use their mobile devices to comparison shop.
  • Only 20 percent of consumers chose to use their devices to make a mobile POS sale, showing the bigger opportunity for retailers to increase on-device sales through compelling in-store experiences.

Despite the small amount of mobile POS sales, these transactions are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 61.9 percent during the next five years.

By the end of 2014, $4.7 billion will be made through mobile proximity payments. That number will grow to $34.8 billion in 2018.

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