Tablets accounted for almost one fifth (18%) of UK paid search clicks for retailers in 2012 compared to 13% on smartphone, according to a new report from Kenshoo.

Tablets also delivered 18.3% of conversions and 21.3% of revenue, while smartphones achieved just 3.6% of overall retail conversions from PPC and 3.4% of revenue.

Similarly, the conversion rate from smartphone visits is just 1.59% compared to 5.85% on tablet and 6.53% on desktop.

The report indicates that marketers aren’t yet making the most of the opportunity presented by tablets, as the devices account for 14.1% of ad spend at a CPC of £0.25, while desktop hoovers up 78.7% with a CPC of £0.36.

This is despite the fact that average order value from tablets is £88.84, compared to £73.78 on desktop and £71.98 on smartphone.

Interestingly, the US market is markedly different – the report shows that smartphones account for one fifth (20.2%) of PPC retail clicks, while tablets make up just 8.2%.

But tablets still trump smartphones for conversions (6.1% vs. 2.3%) and revenue (6.6% vs. 2.1%).

Similarly, smartphones achieve the lowest conversion rate in the US at just 0.46% compared to 3.03% on tablet and 5.2% on desktop.

Looking at ad spend, desktop rightfully takes the lion’s share at 79.6%, while smartphones account for 12.3% and tablets just 8%.

This tallies with data from IgnitionOne which shows that mobile devices accounted for 18% of total US search spend in Q4 2012.

Year-on-year figures show that paid search spend on tablets has increased by 163% compared to 87% on smartphones, while clicks have increased by 135% and 29% respectively.

Kenshoo’s report is the latest evidence that tablets are hugely important for ecommerce, even though they still account for a relatively small amount of traffic compared to desktop.

In December we reported statistics from Screen Pages which showed that conversion rates on tablets were four times higher than from smartphones, and according to Monetate tablets actually delivered a higher conversion rate than desktops (5.84% vs. 5.51%) on Cyber Monday.

Furthermore, data from Affiliate Window shows that iPad conversion rates are double that of desktop, and almost twice as high as other mobile devices.

The average conversion rate for iPad on Affiliate Window’s network was 3.82% in August 2012, compared to 1.9% for desktop.

You can read more about this topic in our blog post ‘Tablets: the opportunity for marketers’.