LONDON: Tablets have come of age as a major consumer shopping device by driving search clicks and revenues, new research has found.

The 2012 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report from Kenshoo, the digital marketing technology company, revealed that in the UK, tablets generated 18% of all paid search clicks last year and 21% of total revenue.

Comparable figures for phones were 13% and 3%, while computers returned 69% and 75% on these metrics.

Tablets also proved to be a cost-effective way to reach their typically more affluent owners: cost-per-click was £0.25 while average order value was £88.84.

On these measurements, tablets were 31% cheaper on cost-per-click than computers while average order value was 20% higher.

When compared to phones, tablets proved to be 47% more expensive in terms of cost-per-click but average order value was 23% higher.

Kenshoo's study also established that during the recent Christmas season, UK retailers increased the amount spent on paid search marketing by 27% over the previous year.

In particular, Boxing Day search ads generated a 34% increase in online sales revenue with a 43% increase in conversion rates year-on-year.

"Savvy UK retailers planned ahead for post-Christmas shopping and allocated budgets to capture Boxing Day peaks," said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at Kenshoo, adding that this included "the creation of bespoke campaigns to target consumers by device type."

The wisdom of the latter becomes evident when considering different operating systems. In mobile phones, iOS devices were dominant, accounting for 62.4% of paid search clicks against Android's 34.5%.

For paid search ads delivered through tablets, the iOS-powered iPad faced almost no competition, accounting for 98.3% of clicks, compared to just 0.62% from Android devices with the remaining 1.07% coming from Blackberry.

Data sourced from Kenshoo; additional content by Warc staff