Perception and reality, at odds with one another, have crept into that which defines the growth of mobile advertising and e-commerce (or m-commerce). The problem lays in the definition and perception of the term "mobile".

Mobile, as the general population defines it, refers to a cell phone.  The term has been hijacked by the ad community and the digerati (the elite of the online communities), to include cellphones, smartphones, tablets, laptops and notebooks ... essentially any device that can move with you.

As the devices swirl around e-commerce sites, the elite have pooled both traffic and sales to imply that smartphones are the lead devices.

That's the perception.  Here's the reality.

The "mobile" (or m-commerce) shopping experience is best optimized on a tablet or laptop.  his is especially true of the baby boomer generation (the demographic with the highest disposable income).

In the m-commerce world, it is estimated that 30% of site traffic is attributed to "mobile" devices and that 80% of that traffic comes from tablets.  Not surprisingly, 90% of the tablet traffic comes from the Apple iPad alone!  These numbers leave smartphones in the dust, yet the industry spends far too much time, money and effort chasing the phone.

An eBay spokesperson suggested that consumers move from mobile to desktop and back again with some form of mobile activity touching 30% of eBay activity.

Isn't it time for marketers to reconsider how they spend their "mobile" dollars before chasing the ever-changing (and costly) mobile phone formats.  Focusing on the tablet would seem to be a no-brainer.  

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