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Adobe study reveals tablet users were biggest online spenders in 2011

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A study by Adobe carried out during the 2011 holiday season and throughout 2011, found that tablet visitors spent more per purchase than visitors using smartphones or traditional desktops and laptops, suggesting that tablet visitors were the most valuable online customers in 2011.

According to the report, tablet visitors spent 54% more than smartphone visitors and 21% more per purchase than desktop/laptop visitors. Tablet visitors were nearly three times more likely to buy products and services online than smartphone visitors and were nearly as likely to purchase as desktop/laptop visitors.

“Adobe has long championed the need for retailers to optimise their sites for mobile visitors, and the results of this study indicate that tablet devices have become an absolutely critical new sales channel that marketers must address head-on,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Adobe Digital Marketing Business. “This study shows the importance of optimising your 2012 e-tail strategy for tablet visitors to avoid the risk of underserving a highly-profitable, fast-growing customer segment.”

Optimising websites for mobile devices, such as smartphones, is now becoming common practice. However, with the emergence of the iPad and Android™ tablets, companies now face additional mobile optimisation requirements in order to provide enticing online shopping experiences. If retailers treat mobile and tablet optimisation strategies alike, they may fail to leverage the power of tablet visitors, which the study suggests, convert nearly three times more frequently than smartphone visitors.

The Adobe study suggests that demographics of tablet visitors, as well as the flexibility of the overall tablet user experience, contribute to higher tablet visitor profitability. Tablet visitors are typically males between the ages of 18-34 years old and tend to be more affluent than other online shoppers. Higher income levels among tablet owners is just one part of the story. Tablet users also have higher usage rates over the weekend, when there is more time to shop online.

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