Adobe Digital Index Shows Tablet Website Traffic Ahead of Smartphones

The Adobe Digital Index indicates that for the first time, Website visitors are using tablets more often than smartphones to view content, Adobe said.

SALT LAKE CITY—Adobe said more Web users are employing tablets than smartphones to visit Websites, view content and conduct commerce online, and companies might be more inclined to optimize tablet content to provide for a more engaging Website experience.

At its Adobe Summit 2013 here, Adobe released the latest information from its Adobe Digital Index, which showed tablet use on the rise. After analyzing more than 100 billion visits to 1,000-plus Web­sites worldwide, Adobe Digital Index has discovered that global Websites are now getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones, 8 percent and 7 percent of monthly page views, respectively, Tyler White, a manager and primary analyst working on Adobe Digital Index, wrote in a blog post.

"Pretty impressive for a device category that was introduced less than three years ago," he said.

Adobe's White focuses on driving insight through aggregate analysis of the data from across the company's Digital Marketing Cloud to understand emerging trends and provide advice to data-driven companies. In short, he is a big-data wrangler.

White said Adobe has been keep­ing a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off. "Just a year ago in January we uncovered that visitors using tablets spend 54 percent more per online order than their counterparts on smartphones, and 19 percent more than desktop/laptop users," he said. "During the past holiday-shopping season, we saw that 13.5 percent of all online sales were trans­acted via tablets. And last month before the Super Bowl, we 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 e-commerce and engagement, tablets have also become the pri­mary device for mobile browsing."

The smartphone remains much more popular than tablets, but the tablet form factor makes it ideal for browsing, White said. "Whether it be leisurely surfing the Web, engaging with video, or shopping online, on average, Internet users view 70 percent more pages per visit when browsing with a tablet com­pared to a smartphone."

White also noted that tablet use in all countries doubled in the past year; however, Internet users in the U.K. are more likely to surf via tablets, he said. In the U.K., tablets account for 12.2 percent of mobile Internet traffic, while in the U.S., tablets account for 9.1 percent.

"Internet users in the U.K. are much more likely than their French and German counterparts to browse via both tablets and smart­phones," White said. "In Japan and China, however, smartphones remain the mobile browsing device of choice. This is not surprising, given the smartphone capabilities that have existed in Japan for years and the high costs of tablets and high-speed mobile access in China."

Meanwhile, White said the larger form factor of tablets makes them ideal for shopping for couches. The data bears this out as retail Websites receive the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries, he said. "Automotive and travel shopping sites similarly get a significant share of traffic from tablets. It should be no surprise that telecom provider Websites see the largest share of traffic from smartphones, as consumers check and pay their phone bills."

Adobe's analysis of its Digital Index findings indicates that when users reach for their tablet for e-commerce, they are typically more ready to make a purchase. "They might turn to their phone to check their bank statements or to stream music, but use their tablet to shop for a new couch," White said. "They want more personalized experiences. When they opt for their tablet, they aren't just price comparing, they're purchasing. They aren't just watching a video clip; they're exploring and engaging with content."