Tablets becoming go-to devices for high-value purchases, Adyen figures show

The Dutch online payments company Adyen has put out some device breakdown data based on its considerable traffic (it handled $14 billion last year), and the results show how high-value purchases are increasingly taking place on tablets.

For the avoidance of doubt, the mobile payments we’re talking about here are payments taking place through mobile browsers or apps, rather than people using their phones to make contactless payments (which is still an uncertain business). So this is really describing the transition from the desktop to the mobile device, rather than new forms of payment.

Adyen looked at the volume and value of payments taking place in 5 key verticals, namely gaming, retail, ticketing, digital goods and travel. Retail aside, smartphones saw a greater volume of transactions than tablets did, but people are shelling out more cash in the average tablet transaction – more even than PC-based transactions, in all verticals save travel.

Here’s a couple of graphs showing Adyen’s findings, covering the last quarter of 2013. Unfortunately there’s no mention of PCs in the top section, which deals with volume (smartphones vs tablets only), but the bottom section gives a clear indication of the average transaction value breakdown between all 3 device types:

Adyen value breakdown

Adyen CCO Roelant Prins also gave me another interesting piece of information from the study, saying that merchants who have a proper mobile app or who have at least created a responsive retail site that renders well on mobile, have on average a 10-15 percent higher conversion rate than those who just run a desktop-oriented web store.

The message here is quite obvious, when you combine it with the sales trajectories of the different device types: tablets are taking over from the desktop, certainly as the device of choice for those sitting on the couch and buying high-value goods, and retailers in particular should be optimizing their operations accordingly.