The proportion of web traffic coming from tablets has pushed past smartphones for the first time, according to Adobe’s latest Digital Index which has tracked more than 100 billion visits to 1,000+ websites worldwide, between June 2007 to date, to compare which device types are driving the most page views. The monitored markets are the U.K, U.S., China, Canada, Australia, Japan, France and Germany. While the difference between smartphone and tablet traffic is marginal — with tablets accounting for eight per cent of the measured page views and smartphones seven per cent — the growth in tablet page views is impressive, especially considering how new the category is (the first iPad launched in April 2010).
Of course both mobile device types still account for a fraction of the total share of page views when compared to desktops/laptops — which accounted for 84 per cent of the page views, according to Adobe’s data — but both are taking a growing share, and tablet growth is on an especially steep trajectory:
Adobe attributes the rise of tablet page views to how well-suited the form factor is for web browsing, with the most obvious attribute being tablets’ larger screen size vs smartphones (albeit, that gap is closing as some tablets shrink and some smartphones swell). On average, Adobe found that Internet users view 70 per cent more pages per visit when browsing with a tablet compared to a smartphone — so tablet users are doing more leisurely (and presumably leisure time) browsing.
While there is a good spread of different activities across both tablets and smartphones, Adobe’s index indicates that online shopping is a particularly popular activity for tablet users. Retail websites receive the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries, according to its data, while automotive and travel shopping websites also get a “significant share” of tablet traffic:
Writing on its digital index blog, Adobe adds:
We’ve been keeping a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off. Just ayear ago in January we uncovered that visitors using tablets spend 54% more per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19% more than desktop/laptop users. During the past holiday shopping season we saw that 13.5% of all online sales were transacted via tablets. And last month before the Super Bowlwe learned that online viewership via tablets doubles during big sporting events. Now we know that not only is tablet traffic more valuable in terms of ecommerce and engagement, tablets have also become the primary device for mobile browsing.
The U.K. leads Adobe’s Index for tablet page views, with the U.S. second:
All countries tracked saw their share of traffic from tablets double over the course of 2012 — a trend Adobe expects to continue through 2013. It added that some slight dips in tablet share in certain countries in November were down to PC traffic surging, rather than tablet page views dropping: