With people relying on their smartphones more than ever – from buying clothes to applying for a job, to booking a holiday – you could be mistaken for thinking the age of the tablet was over. After all, if the iPhone 6 is anything to go by, phone screens are getting bigger anyway.
However, new statistics reported on the eConsultancy website reveal that the tablet is still an important device when it comes to online purchases. This means that even in light of increasing smartphone popularity, it’s a device that marketers can’t afford to ignore.
The iPad launched back in 2010, and while it wasn’t the first tablet on the market, it was certainly the most covetable. As eConsultancy points out, it acted as a trailblazer for the entire mobile device category, showing consumers and manufacturers that tablets made the perfect middle ground between laptop and smartphone – and they could look great, too.
In fact, the iPad remains the fastest selling Apple product of all time, with more than 225 million units being sold in the first five years alone.
Despite people being reluctant to embrace tablets when they first appeared on the market, they have now become woven into our society. More than 60% of adults in the UK (22.8 million) own a tablet, and they are used everywhere from stores, to television programmes and even in classrooms.
But could larger smartphone screens spell the end of the tablet era?
Not necessarily. Although shipments of tablets are expected to fall 9.6% year-on-year in 2016, according to IDC research, consumers in Britain are still using their tablets to browse and shop online.
Research conducted by eConsultancy has found that as well as having a higher level of tablet ownership than the US and Australia, UK consumers also use their tablets more frequently to make purchases. We use our devices to shop online 34% of the time, compared to 25% in the US and just 19% in Australia.
What’s more, over the past year the amount of time spent shopping on tablets has increased in the UK by 48%, being just beaten by smartphones (54%).
The same research shows that the demographic most likely to shop using their tablet is the 25-34 age group (39%), although they are also popular among Baby Boomers. In fact, UK consumers aged 55 and over (22%) use tablets for online shopping twice as much as those in the US (11%) and Australia (11%).
So, rather than going the way of the Concorde, it seems tablets are here to stay – meaning that marketers need to cater to audiences using this device.
The entire customer and shopping experience should be optimised for a range of devices, and tracking tools used to see which devices are used to visit your website, open your emails, visit your social media pages or make a purchase. This way, you’ll be able to adjust your strategies and messages according to their habits and preferences.
Image: Tablets by Martin Voltri available under the (CC BY 2.0) license