According to a Forrester Research report, based on a joint survey with Bizrate Insights, even though just 9 percent of shoppers own tablets, sales from tables account for 20 percent of e-commerce sales. The report also said that 60 percent of people who own tablets have used them to shop, leading to the conclusion that tablets could someday be favored over smartphones and computers.
Sucharita Mulpuru, the e-commerce analysts who co-wrote the Forrester report said, “Everyone thinks that mobile phones and mobile commerce are the next big things, and I think what this data shows is it’s probably actually tablets.” She further commented saying, “We have always capped e-commerce at 10 to 15 percent of total retail sales, but this potentially has the capability of really expanding e-commerce much beyond that.”
Tablets allow shoppers an experience similar to flipping through a print catalog – something that cellphones and computers do not. Sucharita Mulpuru also explained that retailer can even send personalized catalogs to customers’ tablets based on their interests and purchase history.
The advantage for retailers is their ability to show off products rather than compete based on price alone. As for shoppers, the tablet has really revolutionized the online shopping experience.
“The element of discovery is missing online, because most people go to Google, and Google isn’t about discovering something online, it’s about typing something into a search box,” said. “This is much closer to the actual physical browsing experience.”
Although Forrester found that forty percent of tablet owners use their tablets instead of their personal computers when both are available, retailers haven’t quite caught on. The average retailer has spent $14,000 developing tools for the online shopper, which Forrester calls “anemic.”
Forrester expects that a third of adults will own tablets by 2015; however the likelihood of this may largely depend on tablet costs and tool development that caters to those who may not necessarily be familiar with Gilt’s Jetsetter App (app for travel that uses the iPad’s accelerometer and gyroscope to show resorts from different angles).