March 1, 2013, 12:06 PM

Fat Brain Toys finds a tablet-optimized site yields results

Fat Brain Toys finds a tablet-optimized site yields results.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

When it came time to invest time and resources into mobile commerce, Mark Carson, president and co-founder of Fat Brain Toys, found himself at a fork in the road. Should he build an m-commerce site for smartphones or construct a site specially optimized for consumers on the dominant tablet, the iPad.

Because tablets lend themselves to e-commerce, he decided to first build out a tablet-optimized site for the 2012 holiday season, then build out a smartphone site in 2013.

Focusing first on tablets paid off, Carson says. Comparing the first 45 days after Thanksgiving with the iPad site up and running with the 45 days prior to Thanksgiving, the conversion rate on tablets increased 221%, Carson reports. Before Thanksgiving the tablet conversion rate was 39% less than the desktop conversion rate; after turkey day consumers using tablets purchased nearly 8% more often than those on desktops. Carson declines to reveal the exact conversion rates.

"While I expect a smartphone site to improve upon the results we're currently seeing, I don't think it has near the potential of tablets," Carson concludes. "Smartphone sites may be good for looking up information but I don't believe that today's mobile devices lend themselves to the true shopping experience that is necessary to drive significant e-commerce revenue."

bill@verticalwebmedia.com

@IRmcommerce

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