Get Ready for T-CommercePeter Reville |
Back in the day, there was e-commerce, consumers shopping for goods and services on their PCs. Then, along came smartphones, which ushered in m-commerce. Now, a new form factor has created a new term—t-commerce, consumers shopping from their tablets.
Tablets will reach one-third of U.S. adults by 2015 via a 51 percent CAGR from 2010 to 2015, according to a report recently published by Forrester Research (“Why Tablet Commerce May Soon Trump Mobile Commerce” July 2011). Currently, Forrester says, one-half of tablet owners report purchasing products online and another 13 percent have shopped on their tablet but have not purchased. These are not trivial numbers and spark interesting questions about consumer shopping behavior with these new devices and their preferences among form factors.
When it comes to shopping, tablets, while not quite PCs, provide more than smartphones. Tablets will not outnumber PCs in the home anytime soon. However, many see their tablet as a replacement for their secondary PC or a complement to their primary one. Regardless of how they view their tablet, 40 percent of respondents to the Forrester survey report they use their tablet more when both their tablets and their PCs are available. It’s easy to see why. Consumers generally feel that tablets provide greater convenience than PCs because of their size and ease of use.
Tablets also overcome the main problem with smartphones: small screens. The same Forrester report indicates that more than half of owners of both tablets and smartphones prefer using tablets over smartphones for shopping.
Retailers cannot afford to neglect this new device. Traditional websites are optimized for PCs—not smaller screens—while mobile websites are designed for the much smaller screen. Some retailers have been successful developing shopping apps rather than changing their sites, but this is more expensive than optimizing their sites for different browsers. Whichever path retailers take, they need to optimize their content delivery in order to maximize t-commerce.
Topics: Payments Strategy