Monetate: Tablets are the future of e-commerce

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An image from Monetate's E-commerce Quarterly Study
An image from Monetate's E-commerce Quarterly Study

According to a new study by Monetate, tablets may just be the future of e-commerce, more so than mobile or PCs, says Blair Lyon, VP of marketing at Monetate. The study, which was released June 29, appeared in Monatate's Q1 E-commerce Quarterly report.

The study found that during Q1 2011, just 1.66% of all website visits came from tablets. During Q2, that percentage rose to 6.52%. The prominence of PCs as the conduit for for e-commerce transactions and website visits is on a steady decline, Lyon says. The conversion rate on PCs is about 3.51% of all visits. On a mobile device that drops to 1.39%, but on tablets the rate is about the same as PCs at 3.23%, according to the study.

“PCs have a long life to live, but I think you're going to see dramatic changes on the overall conversion rate on that device,” he says. “I don't necessarily I think it will be the death of the PC, but it will decline.”

Part of the reason why tablets have grown in popularity, and mobile phones haven't at the same rate, is because of the user interface, he says. “There's a larger screen size, a better interaction experience [on tablets],” he says. “A lot of e-commerce companies haven't figured out their mobile strategies.”

For example, Lyon says, mobile phones are increasingly being used as a way to research products, “but they're not necessarily converting at any increased rate on a smartphone as opposed to a tablet device.” Marketers at many companies, such as Mattel, which launched a new mobile commerce site focused on research this week, are starting to react to this notion.

The simple facts that a consumer can “surf” e-commerce sites from the couch and that tablets screens are large enough to easily enter in credit card information may be why that device is thriving, Lyon says.

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