Tablets rocking the mobile world (again)

Yet another report shows the importance of the iPad in ‘mobile’ e-commerce. Is it really that surprising to see high revenue stats when Google Analytics counts it as a mobile device? Why is a lap top not a mobile device?

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ipad commerce I have just been reading a post on econsultancy that discusses the need to ensure that your website works well on tablets.

A standout stat that hits you early on in the article is that 82% of mobile purchases are made on the iPad in the UK. The post justifiably goes on to state how mobile marketing should really be focused on tablets (the iPad in particular) if you are chasing revenue.

I have written about this before and still feel that the hype around mobile is as much a result of Google Analytics classifying the iPad as a mobile device as it is an explosion of mobile phones / handsets.

There can be no doubt that mobile data usage is growing very quickly and website designers must absolutely recognise that a significant chunk of their audience will not be sitting at a desk in front of a computer (be it PC or Mac).

Here at Browser Media towers, we spent a few hours last week checking client sites on various mobile devices and looking at the mobile stats in Google Analytics. The overall average % of mobile traffic was 11.5%, but it was as high as 22% on one site and as low as 3% on another, so a wide spread. There was no obvious pattern to which type of sites had a higher percentage of mobile traffic.

What Google Analytics did show was that the iPad was by far the most popular mobile device, accounting for an overall average of over 50% of all mobile traffic across all the client sites that were investigated. It was as high as 76% on one site, but as low as 23% on another. However you slice and dice the data, the iPad is a biggie and the iPhone came in at an average of 30% of mobile traffic so you can see why the Apple share price is so high…

It should therefore not be a huge surprise to see that the % of mobile purchases made on the iPad is so high. It isn’t just a reflection of particularly high conversion rates on the medium but a reflection of the fact that most mobile traffic is iPad traffic.

I would agree that it is important to acknowledge the importance of tablets and ensure that your website performs well on the device, but would love it if tablets are separated from ‘mobile’. Yes, they are mobile devices, but so is a laptop.

What defines a mobile device? If you include tablets, on the basis that they are not stuck to a desk, why is it that laptops are not included? Is it simply a problem of not being able to identify them?

It would be interesting to see a comparison in conversion rates on an e-commerce site between laptop users and iPad users. Which segment do you think would show more impressive stats?

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