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When’s mobile not really mobile?

When’s mobile not really mobile?


The mobile consumer at home is relaxed and safe in their environment. Predominantly lying on the couch, in bed or in the kitchen, they are also quite often tablet users.

Are Tablets Truly Mobile?

From our work across our travel and retail client-base, we know 55% of all sales on tablets happen between 6pm and 8am. Consumers are more likely to be at home rather than on the move at this time. This begs the question whether consumers on tablets are truly mobile?

Additional research from Google shows that tablet users are also typically multitaskers; 42% are doing something else whilst searching on mobile (typically watching TV). This makes them more distractible and, as a result, far more likely to only click on the top few results of a search – if you don’t own the real estate at the top of the page you won’t get the clicks.

Identifying True Mobility

So, how can you identify if your tablet users are truly mobile or not? There is a simple test you can do.

In January Google launched a new feature that enables you to target your campaigns to devices based on whether they are connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile network. If a tablet user is on Wi-Fi in the night or early morning it is reasonable to assume that they are probably at home.

If you have found that your customers are tablet users at home and you have the traffic volumes to make the results meaningful there are three areas I’d suggest you focus on:

  • Targeting - Split out your campaigns so you’re targeting Wi-Fi users separately to mobile users
  • Product choice - Typically tablet users are more affluent. Indeed, for many the tablets are a secondary or tertiary device, which is further evidence of their affluence, so try promoting items that will lead to higher average order values
  • Messaging - Recognise that the tablet user in the home is closer in expectations and habits to a laptop user than a true mobile user who demands simplicity and immediacy. Also recognise that this means you cannot assume mobile ad copy or desktop copy will work. Create a new messaging type and test it.

The technology now exists to help you target consumers whether they are on mobile or at home – you simply need to start testing.

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Sri Sharma

Sri Sharma

Sri is the founder and CEO at Net Media Planet. 

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