Now that we’re firmly in the age of mobility, buying online through a computer may appear obsolete for some consumers. With a click of a button on your smartphone (which is always on) or your tablet (which is always on standby), you can access your favorite online merchant from anywhere.

It appears though that of our mobile devices, tablets are taking a lead when it comes to e-commerce. This comes in spite of their rather recent re-introduction, marked by the iPad’s 2010 launch (previous attempts to make tablet PCs didn’t survive long enough to be remembered).

According to the results of a Forrester report published on Forbes Blog, 9% of online shoppers have a tablet device, and while they already have other mobile devices including smartphones, their preferred method of shopping is (you guessed it) their tablet. With the debut of Android’s Honeycomb this past February, a stable and attractive tablet-optimized OS is now available for all manufacturers to use on their new tablets (look out for highly anticipated devices from Amazon and Sony coming soon).

With all this kind of momentum gathering, one thing is certain… “t-commerce” is the next big thing.

Ai’s clients have witnessed the evolution of tablet visits firsthand. Between May 2010 and 2011, the iPad visits grew by 782% for one of our clients and by 433% for another, while those clients iPhone visits only grew by 146% and 99%, respectively. The iPhone has been out since 2005 whereas the iPad came out in 2010, but such explosive growth for the iPad makes it clear that the tablet, as a traffic and revenue source, cannot be ignored.

As Bill Siwicki of Internet Retailer put it, “If you haven’t already created an m-commerce site or a mobile shopping app, now is the time. It’s not too late.”

For more insight on how to optimize for the tablet wielding consumer, see Alex Schmelkin’s post Make Way for T-Commerce.

Author: Mohamed Elkordy, Strategy & Data Analyst, Alexander Interactive

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