E-shoppers are likelier to make purchases using their computer tablet than other devices.
Computer tablet owners are more likely to make online purchases than e-shoppers using other devices, according to a new Forrester Research study.
Smartphones are currently the mobile device of choice. In a 2011 mobile technology and social media study conducted by Millionaire Corner, 43 percent said they used smartphones compared with 16 percent who use a tablet. But what tablet-toting consumers lack in numbers, they are making up for in purchasing power and retailers are taking notice, making their websites more tablet user friendly and creating more engaging apps for the device.
Three to four percent of consumers browsing retailer websites on their PCs go on to make a purchase, while the conversion rate for tablet owners is 4 percent or 5 percent, Forrester found. Tablets, researcher Sucharita Mulpuru observed, have uniquely compelling features that engage e-shoppers, including a larger screen, portability, and richer content in the form of online catalogs tailored for the device. Earlier research by Forrester found that 40 percent of consumers who own a tablet and a PC said they use their tablets more when both are available. They are also more likely to spend more time online.
Apple’s iPad is by far the dominant tablet (83 percent of households we surveyed use one), but Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which was unveiled this week and will cost less than half the cost of an iPad, could broaden the market. Forrester forecasts that one-third of U.S. adults could own tablets by 2015.
This is significant for retailers who are facing muted forecasts for the upcoming all-important holiday shopping season. E-commerce has been posting double-digit revenue gains each year, the Wall Street Journal reports, with around 3 percent of the nearly $150 billion U.S. consumers spent online last year came via mobile devices.
Retailers also told WSJ that tablet owners tend to spend 10 percent to 20 percent more on their purchases.
Already, tablets are the preferred device to conduct financial research and activities, according to a new Millionaire Corner study of retirement plan participants. Seventy-eight percent use their tablets to access personal financial account information, compared to 62 percent of those who use their smartphones for this purpose. Likewise, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) use their tablets to pay bills online vs. 53 percent of smartphone users.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.