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Tablets fuelling UK m-commerce usage

17 October 2011 - 10:58 by Simon Crisp

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The increase in the number of UK consumers who own a tablet computer like the Apple iPad or BlackBerry Playbook is making more people carry out safe shopping online via a mobile platform, according to a study commissioned by PayPal.

People who have a tablet PC will be far more likely to buy products using this portable device rather than their home computer because the quality of the experience is now coming into line with the convenience of the technology.

Forty per cent of people who have a smartphone as well as a tablet have used their portable devices for safe shopping online at least 20 times in the past 12 months. These so-called 'dual owners' are also far more involved in the internet itself, using various online sites and services more than those who do not have such devices to hand.

PayPal spokesperson, Laura Chambers, explained that the run-up to Christmas 2011 would be a real test of the m-commerce market as the company is anticipating a drastic increase in the number of people who are enjoying online shopping from portable devices.

Of course for m-commerce to attract consumers it requires that retailers have correctly adapted their sites to provide an optimal shopping experience on the smaller displays of tablets and smartphones.

There are often conflicting reports about the readiness of retailers to provide excellent mobile portals and satisfaction levels amongst customers can vary. This Christmas the best firms will be targeting m-commerce as a priority for growth and you should expect to see a rise in the number of bespoke applications designed for phones and tablets that facilitate online shopping.

Tablets and smartphones are becoming the most popular piece of kit for e-commerce, overtaking laptops and desktop computers in a study conducted by Forrester Research last month.