iPad and other tablets starting to challenge old web shopping behaviour

For a device which pretty much didn’t exist in the minds of consumers until a few years ago, tablets (led by the iPad) are now fundamentally altering browsing and buying patterns.

A recent report from eMarketer says tablets are extending US consumer shopping hours “well into the night and generating incremental sales as a result”, even more so than mobile devices and laptops.

But the good news is not being matched by accommodating retailers, the report says, with most “failing to meet their expectations”.

Author Cathy Boyle adds:

“Tablet users want to interact, inspect, even ‘play’ with products through their device, and retailers that deliver an immersive, fun experience are the most likely to see their tcommerce sales increase.”

The report, looking across all industry verticals, highlights recent RichRelevance research from April this year which illustrated the difference in average price of items bought on iPads versus mobile devices and PCs/laptops.

  • PCs/laptops – $22
  • Mobiles – $24
  • iPads – $53

Viacom research from earlier this year found that almost all respondents said they used their tablet device most often in the living room and bedroom, with activity starting to increase from 5pm each day and reaching a peak at 9pm.

The frequency of how often consumers are buying products using their tablet devices is also interesting, with almost a quarter (24%) two or three times a months, but 20% once a week and 21% more than once a week. Splashing out on something every single day of the week appeals to 12%.

eMarketer calls this the “rise of the couch and pillow commerce”.

So what are they buying as the slumber in front of the TV (or ignore their book/partner in bed!)?

Wave Collapse asked consumers to identify the last purchase on their tablet devices during April 2012 – here are the top five items:

  1. Hotel reservation – 22%
  2. DVD – 22%
  3. Clothing – 20%
  4. Books – 18%
  5. Air tickets – 17%

Evidence of the results of all this is certainly starting to emerge – online travel agency Travelocity says 55% of all its mobile bookings are now coming via tablet devices, according to director of mobile Jason Fulmines, with so-called “mobile-exclusive deals” generating a “good percentage” of hotel bookings.

eMarketer, however, says retailers without a defined tablet strategy are “leaving money on the table”.

“Ignoring the growth of tablet shoppers is unwise when optimization and experimentation are low-risk, high-reward propositions.”

This is primarily because many retailers are still not optimising sites for tablet devices, with slow loading times (apparently 28% of people expect a tablet to load quicker than its laptop/PC cousin), built for larger screens, quirky content formats, Flash issues et al.

“Winning over tablet shoppers means inspiring and entertaining them with storefronts built for touch, movement and sound.”

NB: Tablet reading image via Shutterstock.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Data supporting surge of tablet and ipad usage in hotel and travel industry

    […] More at Tnooz: iPad and other tablets starting to challenge old web shopping behaviour and Google sees higher conversions from tablets – cars, sofas and houses among purchases and […]

  2. Come sfruttare il canale mobile dell’hotel con il SoLoMo e un sito tablet-friendly » Kleis Communication Technologies

    […] su Tnooz sono stati pubblicati alcuni studi che mostrano che non sono in crescita solo gli utenti tablet, ma […]

  3. Come sfruttare il canale mobile dell’hotel con il SoLoMo e un sito tablet-friendly | Booking Blog™ - Il blog del Web Marketing Turistico

    […] su Tnooz sono stati pubblicati alcuni studi che mostrano che non sono in crescita solo gli utenti tablet, ma […]

  4. Carl Kim

    This is quite interesting. One way to look it, and simplistically put, is that the form factor significantly defines the user experience. I would argue that for some heavy duty research (such as comparing offers from different sites) users might be more tempted to use their higher resolution, bigger screened desktop PCs as opposed to on 10 inch tablet screen. In that sense we might see a higher conversion rate on tablets, but a greater share of the earlier (research) stage of a purchasing lifecycle is carried out on desktop PCs. (Of course, what kind of product/services is being purchased is a strong factor – travel, being more leisure by nature, is something users would want to have a look at in bed or on the couch using their tablets, as opposed to grocery shopping which as a chore might have a greater likelihood of being carried out on a more regular desktop PC). Another angle for consideration is that for impulsive buying, tablets might be more effective for conversion if that impulse is created from a rich experience with the product online, as suggested by the article.

  5. iPad en tête, ce sont les tablettes qui génèrent le plus "d’achats canapé"

    […] Ces données vont incontestablement modifier l’approche des opérateurs de l’e-tourisme. Déjà plus de la moitié (55 p.c.) des réservations enregistrées par l’agence en ligne Travelocity au départ d’un mobile, le sont depuis une tablette. [tnooz] […]


Newsletter Subscription

Please subscribe now to Tnooz’s FREE daily newsletter.

This lively package of news and information from Tnooz’s web site provides a convenient digest of what’s happening in technology that drives the global travel, tourism and hospitality market.

  • Cancel