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Weekly Mobile Breakdown: Tablets Fueling Mobile Commerce

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
June 21, 2012

In last week’s posting I gave a general overview of the explosion in tablet users and the effects it may have on mobile marketing and advertising.  In this week’s posting, I will delve deeper into the tablet boom’s effect on mobile commerce.  So, to give you a recap, according to data from eMarketer, tablet usage has exploded and is still set to increase significantly in the next several years:



Late last week, eMarketer released an article on the growth of tablet shopping in the US, based on a report they had released earlier on tablet usage.  Sure enough, tablet shopping is booming–and why not? Given their bigger screen sizes (compared to mobile phones), allowing for a better browsing experience (and extra portability), allowing consumers to shop almost anywhere…why wouldn’t people be attracted to that?

According to the eMarketer report, 90% of consumers are shopping at least once per month through their tablets, and that’s as of November of 2011, so the percentage may be even greater today.  Almost three-quarters of tablet owners feel that tablet sites should load at least as fast as PC sites (consumers have little patience for slow-loading sites!).  As of April of 2012, 4.6% of e-commerce revenue was from purchases through mobile devices, and of this little slice, 89% was through iPads ($$$).  In addition, the average price of items purchased through iPads was $53, compared to $24 and $22 through other mobile devices and PCs/laptops, respectively—that’s twice the amount spent through iPad than through other devices!


So what does this mean for mobile?  Well, in terms of mobile marketing and advertising, it may mean a shift in focus from mobile phones to tablet devices as tablet penetration increases and tablet marketing proves its value.  Many businesses already have tablet-optimized sites, and as more businesses “go tablet” in the future to capture sales, technology companies that can tablet-optimize websites will see more business and revenue rolling in, which would mean more moolah to expand and invest in their technology.  All this growth in tablet commerce and penetration may mean more money pumped into tablet-advertising, which would mean more mobile-tech related jobs becoming available, hence increasing growth in mobile marketing and advertising in the foreseeable future, that is, until the market becomes saturated.  Perhaps someday, when tablets have become as common as PCs and laptops, tablets may be the main device through which consumers do most of their “online” shopping.











Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.



  • 90% of tablet users in the U.S. are using their tablets to shop at least once a month
  • 23% of tablet users shop through their tablets either once per month or less than monthly
  • 12% of tablet users shop through their tablets every day, and let’s see, what’s 12% of 69.6 million… (oh, about 8.4 million daily tablet shoppers)
  • 70% of tablet owners expect tablet websites should load at least as fast, if not faster, than desktop websites


  • The full potential of tablets (in terms of driving mobile commerce) has not been realized yet
  • There is still opportunity to drive consumers to make more purchases through their tablets more than once a month
  • A site that is not tablet-optimized with slow loading times and/or glitches can drive away prospective customers
  • Retailers need to ensure their sites are tablet-optimized with a seamless shopping experience
  • All of the above would mean more business for companies that can tablet-optimize existing e-commerce sites (I won’t name any names)

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