Tablets and smartphones are lumped together in the same category: mobile. But that’s not accurate because it blunts and obscures some of the differences in how consumers use these devices.
Both tablets and smartphones are used at home. However, generally speaking, only smartphones truly make it outside and are used “on the go.” (Carrier-connected 7-inch tablets may change that in the future.) According to recent data from Nielsen, smartphones are most commonly used to find local stores, to check prices and for product research.
Product research is also something done quite heavily on tablets — even more than on smartphones. But tablet owners are much more inclined to use those devices to convert and buy things vs. smartphone owners.
As we’ve discussed before, most “conversions” don’t happen on smartphones. They happen later offline or on other devices (PCs, tablets). Google has documented how multiple devices are used throughout any given day and how user behavior is becoming truly “multiscreen” or multiplatform.
Following consumers from device to device is complex and challenging from an attribution standpoint. However companies such as Drawbridge are using highly sophisticated methodologies to try and track users from the PC to mobile to enable ad targeting of those users across platforms.