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How Mobile Phones And Tablets Differ In ECommerce

How Mobile Phones and Tablets Differ in eCommerce

By default, when tablets were introduced into the technology marketplace they were dubbed as “mobile” devices due to their ability to be used everywhere and the ease of obtaining internet connectivity through wireless providers, similar to mobile phones. But are tablets truly “mobile” devices anymore, especially in the eCommerce space?

Our web analytics specialist, Jacob Knettel, conducted some original research to see if tablets are still worthy of the mobile tag or if they have differentiated themselves from the smaller mobile phone devices…

Our research is a compilation of data from twelve PFSweb clients (six consumer goods and six retail clients) from the first quarter of 2013, although some data from previous months is also used for comparative purpouses. On average, each site received approximately 1.2 million visitors per month and a total of 15.2 million visits per month combined across all twelve sites.


The percentage of visits on eCommerce sites from desktop and laptop devices continues to decrease while visits from mobile phones and tablet devices continues to increase. Over time, the percentage of site visits from different devices may be more evenly spread across devices instead of being dominated by desktop and laptop devices.

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Keeping Up With Mobile Commerce

Keeping Up With Mobile Commerce

Evolution of mobile phones

How mobile phones have evolved over the past two decades.

From grey screens to HD displays, the evolution of mobile devices has come fast and furious. Keeping up with the latest trends in mobile technology is not only difficult for mobile experts but also online retailers. Before technologies such as handheld touch screens can even mature and reach the majority of U.S. consumers, they are slowly becoming yesterday’s news as three-dimensional smartphones are starting to be mass produced. Mobile is one of the few industries which is significantly different one year to the next.

So how can retailers keep up with the ever-changing mobile technology? Here are some suggestions…

  • Drop the “e” from eCommerce and the “m” from mCommerce – Traditional online retail and mobile shopping are becoming one, with almost 30% of consumers using their mobile phone as their primary internet device. When thinking of an online strategy for an eCommerce site it’s no longer typical to view mobile as an extension of the site; for long-term plans given the shift in consumer behavior (94% of smartphone owners ages 18-29 access the internet via mobile devices) having a strong mobile presence is becoming more of a necessity and a core focus of site development.
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