Mobile commerce has grown at an exceptional rate over the past few years. Consumer demand to access the internet when on the move has seen the share of mobile traffic increase tenfold since we started tracking our mobile data back in 2011. With the launch of new devices with improved connectivity and performance this growth has not been particularly surprising.

While people may associate mobile commerce with smartphones, it is not all about mobile data- it is essential to think Tablet. Ever since the first generation iPad was launched back in 2010, consumers have rapidly been turning to tablets as their device of choice for browsing and purchasing while at home.

To drive tablet devices into the mainstream, more accessible tablets were launched into the market at a lower price point. At the top of the range Apple launched the iPad mini as a more affordable device while Tesco launched the Hudl at just over £100. John Lewis reported that Tablets were their bestselling product of 2013.

We have certainly seen some impressive performance across tablet devices over the past few months. While they typically have a lower share of clicks (13.5%) when compared to smartphones (15.85%), the far superior conversion rate (5.9% vs. 2.8%) means that a greater share of m-commerce sales originate from a tablet (18.9%) rather than a smartphone (10.4%). Additionally, the average order values through tablets are significantly higher (£79.20 vs. £51.40).

Despite the launch of cheaper alternatives to Apple’s iPad, Apple remains the dominant force when it comes to driving traffic and sales across the affiliate channel. The iPad generates almost three quarters of all tablet traffic while eight out of ten tablet sales originates from an Apple tablet. As well as an iPad user being more likely to transact, they are also spending more when they do. Average order values for the iPad are consistently around £25 higher than we see across other tablets.

With an increasing amount of activity taking place on tablets, it is important advertisers are optimising for tablet as well as smartphone devices. With the functionality available on touchscreen devices it is important that menus are easily navigated, the use of a swipe to go between menus for example makes the most of the devices functionality.

With consumers typically using multiple devices depending on where they are and what they are using the internet for, it is becoming even more important to understand a typical customer journey. Cross device tracking is going to be an important aspect in understanding the devices being used at each stage in the customer journey so they can be targeted in a certain way depending on the device that is being used at the time.

This data also enables us to understand whether the growth in m-commerce is down to consumers simply switching their device of choice and tablet activity is canabalising that of desktop, or if some of this activity is purely incremental.

Mobile devices have also given rise to “second screening” – where a second device is used to enhance the experience of the first device. For example, this could be tweeting while watching a television programme, or finding out more information about a product that has just been advertised. A report for The Drum indicated that two thirds of consumers admitted to second screening and were more likely to engage, the more screens they were using.

Tablets lend themselves perfectly to heightening the experience as a second screen. Affiliate Window recently launched a second screen campaign with NOW TV, in an effort to provide an enhanced viewing experience. A display campaign specifically targeted on tablets & WIFI only, ran simultaneously during TV commercials for NOW TV. The tablet display campaign was delivered in bursts for a length of three minutes and delivered during peak time slots in terms of television viewer ratings (TVRs). The intention was to heighten the interaction with the brand during these periods and the initial results have shown the campaign has achieved one of the highest click through rates Now TV has ever experience via the display channel.

With an increasing number of tablets being purchased, they are fast becoming the device of choice. It is essential that advertisers look to harness their capabilities to get the greatest results across the affiliate channel.