The Democratization of the TabletPeter Reville |
Tablets are going mainstream. No longer is the tablet just the toy of the tech savvy and the wealthy.
According to a recently released report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “Tablet and E-book Reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift Giving Period,” tablets are getting into the hands of the 99%. That is to say, in about a month, from mid-December 2011 (10%) to mid-January 2012 (19%), U.S. tablet consumer penetration nearly doubled. This growth is largely due to the introduction of the lower priced Kindle Fire and the Nook tablets. Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente estimates that Amazon had shipped 5.5 million units since the introduction of the Fire.
What does this mean for retailers? Per capita averages, like transactions and ticket sizes, will likely go down: the new users are not as well heeled as early adopters (who are generally more upscale) or comfortable shopping on the web.
However, I would venture that the sheer volume of transactions from the newly initiated will be a boon for Internet retailers. As people become more comfortable using their new device and experience the joys of shopping from one’s couch (not to mention that the Fire and Nook are sold by retailers who put their apps front and center on the device), it doesn’t look like this trend has a downside.
In my first blog post I brought up the term t-commerce to describe e-commerce via a tablet, I have since seen a term I like even better – Couch Commerce or c-commerce.