Apple customers are emerging as an important new demographic, accounting for a massive 89% of mobile commerce sales.
When Orbitz admitted that it ranks products differently for Mac users, citing 20-30% higher average order values, much comment was made about the difference between Mac and PC customers.
But that is only half the story. When you factor in mobile devices, the new Apple demographic begins to have significant implications for marketers.
Apple mobile customers dominate mobile commerce, especially on tablets. Analysis of 21 million mobile ecommerce transactions by SeeWhy in February and March (2013) found that Apple customers are fundamentally different from Android customers: 89% of mobile ecommerce sales were on iOS, with 70% of total mobile sales coming from iPad alone.
Remember that there are significantly more Android devices than iOS devices, so if Android customers were the same as Apple ones, those figures shouldn't be so: In essence, Android should drive more mobile sales.
Digging into this in more detail by looking at Web traffic sources, it becomes clear that Android usage is higher than iOS over cellular, but iOS usage is much higher over Wi-Fi, suggesting that Android users have less access to WiFi—or aren't using it.
In fact, Android device usage patterns suggest they are used more as utilitarian devices, helping to achieve tasks when out of the home, such as finding stores and accessing the web using cellular. Those patterns are what we normally associate with smartphones—many fewer purchases with a much smaller average order value than tablets.
Tablets are used in a fundamentally different way from smartphones. Used primarily at home, on the couch and in bed, tablets are a recreational device with dramatically higher average order values than desktops or smartphones, generating three times more revenue for e-commerce merchants than phones.