With tablets poised to dethrone smartphones and become the dominant tool for shoppers in the mobile marketplace, businesses need to take another look at their platforms and make sure they’re ready for a tablet-based mobile economy.

Since Apple introduced the iPhone back in 2010, it’s been assumed that the sleek and sought-after smartphone would be the world’s favorite mobile plaything. Historically speaking, smartphones have always held a firm grip on the majority share of the m-commerce market, but recent data indicates the winds of change may be in the air.

Tablets have been consistently gaining in popularity over the last few years, while the smartphone’s share of the market seems to be experiencing a slow-but-steady decline.

While traditional tablet sales are down, cellular-connected tablets are experiencing steady growth, and are largely responsible for the narrowing gap between the respective players in the mobile commerce marketplace, according to IDC.

Recognize the Signs

Although the surge in tablets’ popularity has taken many in the industry by surprise, indicators of the trend we’re only just now talking about have been visible for some time.

A recent study by ABI Research indicated that, although tablets will only hold a 35% share of mobile app market this year, they’re expected to surpass smartphones in mobile app revenue generation by 2018.

Additionally, according a report by Gartner, tablets are expected to outsell PCs and laptops this year by nearly 50 million units. It makes sense when you consider that the tablet essentially combines the processing power of a PC with the mobility of a smartphone.

Tablets offer consumers bigger screens and more power at a fraction of the cost of a traditional computer.

It’s now clear that any business that increases its mobile investments but fails to incorporate tablets into that strategy will be missing out on nearly half of the mobile market.

Stay One Step Ahead

Regardless of who’s on top, the fact remains that the m-commerce market is exploding. Goldman Sachs predicts that m-commerce sales will reach $298 billion this year, nearly a 45.9% increase over 2014’s total.

The firm goes on to predict that by 2018, m-commerce will account for nearly half of global consumer electronics revenues.

So whether or not these trends continue and tablets do, in fact, catch up to or even overtake the smartphone’s share of the m-commerce market, businesses need to look at the bigger picture.

The key to success lies in building a foundation that allows for seamless integration across a wide range of mobile platforms. By taking this kind of holistic approach, you can optimize your services across the board, ensuring your company’s sustained vitality in a still-developing mobile marketplace.