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Tablet usage stimulates e-commerce sales

23 April 2013 - 08:55 by Graham Miller

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More people are shopping from tablet devices than ever before, with retail searches from gadgets like the iPad up by an impressive 198 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC used data from search giant Google, to work out how people are using their portable devices and whether tablets are having a marked impact on shopping online.

Retail-oriented search growth was significant, outstripping the 66 per cent expansion seen in smartphone searches and the 16 per cent increase seen from desktop and laptop computers.

Although there are still far more people carrying out safe shopping online from PCs than tablets or smartphones, the market for these portable devices is growing and so in the future, there could well be a point at which the two platforms actually switch sides when it comes to importance.

The rise of the tablets is not without its potential problems, most of which are being faced by retailers which are being forced to adapt their websites, in order to cope with the influx of visitors who are using this type of device.

While mobile-optimised sites are suitable for those using smartphones with displays ranging in size from three to five inches, tablets have a lot more onscreen real estate to accommodate, with basic models, like the Google Nexus 7, starting at seven inches and the full size iPad topping out at almost 10 inches.

This means that in an ideal world, it is necessary for retailers to create both smartphone sites and tablet-oriented sites, to cater to an audience that is spread across a variety of different devices.

With the increase in retail searches being made from tablets, it is only a matter of time before online outlets will be expected to have optimised the experience of shopping from this type of gadget.