How to Tap Into the Tablet-Using Market

Tablets are still a smoking hot trend. Here’s what that means to small business owners marketing to mobile consumers.
Contributing Writer,
June 26, 2012

If there’s one tech trend that’s smoking hot right now, it’s the tablet computer. Here’s a round-up of recent stats, and what they mean to small business owners wanting to market to tablet-using consumers.

Who’s Using Tablets?

Millennials: A survey of 4,000 Millennials (aged 16 to 34) by The Boston Consulting Group, Barkley and Service Management Group found this age group is far more likely than non-millennials to own multiple devices, including tablets.

Moms: Moms are passionate tablet users (according to a recent TechBargain survey tablets were the most-wanted Mother’s Day gift). Data reported by MediaPost indicates a whopping 97 percent of moms with tablets have used them to make a purchase. The same study found tablets are supplanting PCs for moms, who spend an average of 10 hours a week on their tablets compared to just two on their desktops.

Affluents: A new study from comScore says tablet owners skew older and wealthier. Three in five have household incomes of $75,000 or more. Although most tablet users fall between age 25 and 44, tablet owners were 28 percent more likely to be age 65 and older than were smartphone owners—so don’t discount Baby Boomers as tablet users.

Takeaway: There are many hot markets to target here, but aiming at affluent moms age 34 and under could really put you in the “sweet spot.”

Where Are They Using Tablets?

When tablets first started to sizzle, marketers envisioned consumers taking them into stores for on-site comparison-shopping. That behavior is common with smartphones, but a Viacom study reported in eMarketer says tablet computers are used at home 74 percent of the time, with over 90 percent of tablet owners using them in their living rooms or bedrooms. Some have dubbed them “couch” or “lean-back” devices because so many consumers use them during downtimes.

Takeaway: Retailers and e-tailers should think of tablets as a luxurious catalog—one that gives your customer a relaxing escape and offers you the opportunity to showcase your products with high-quality photos and videos that show them in action.

What Are They Using Tablets For?

Browsing: According to a study by Adobe reported in TabTimes, visits to websites from tablets more than tripled last year; by 2014, Adobe predicts tablet browsing will make up 10 percent of all website traffic.

Watching Video: comScore says more than 50 percent of tablet users watch video and/or TV content on their devices. And not only are they more likely to watch video, but they’re more likely to do so on a regular basis. Some 19 percent watched video at least weekly, and 9.5 percent watched almost daily.

Shopping: Research from Google and Ipsos found tablet owners were more apt to research products and look for product reviews on their tablets than on their desktops. This infographic highlights some key stats, including:

  • Tablet users spend more per purchase than either smartphone or desktop visitors.
  • 43 percent of tablet users age 55+ have made a purchase on their tablets. The figures are even higher for younger consumers.
  • 52 percent of tablet owners prefer to shop on their devices instead of from their desktop computers.

Takeaway: Make it easy for customers to find you when they’re browsing on their tablets by making sure your business is represented in local search and review sites. Also consider adding video to your website if you haven’t already.

How are you reaching out to consumers on their tablets?

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Follow Rieva at and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Contributing Writer,