Tablets emerge as preferred online shopping device
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Tablets emerge as preferred online shopping device

Tablet computers such as the iPad are quickly emerging as a preferred online shopping device. Shopatron (, an eCommerce and order management solution for over 1,000 brands, found that, across all client stores, purchase rates are equivalent between tablet and desktop users.

In recent months, the conversion rates for tablet shoppers have been a mere 5-8% below the conversion rates of desktop-based shoppers. In addition, conversion rates from paid search ads have actually been higher on tablets (up to 3%). In a month-long analysis across several sporting goods clients, Shopatron found that click-through rates for paid search ads on tablets were 51% greater than those on computers, and the average cost per click was 7% less.

"With fewer advertisers to compete with, tablet advertising is costing less than advertising to desktop-based shoppers," says Greg Squires, Shopatron's online marketing manager. "This has resulted in a noticeably better return on tablet advertising investments: US$7 in sales for each $1 in advertising spend versus $6 in sales per $1 in spend for desktop advertising."

So far in 2012, about 6% of all Shopatron orders have come from an Apple iPad, and that number continues to grow with increased tablet computer usage. An April 2012 Forrester Research blog predicted that 375 million tablets will sell globally in 2016.

"It's no surprise that conversion rates on tablets are nearing or outpacing the conversion rates of desktops," says Mark Grondin, Shopatron's senior vice president of Marketing. "Browsing on a tablet is intuitive and user friendly, providing portability without sacrificing interface quality or functionality. And the fact that this device can be easily used in a cafe, on the couch, or even in bed make it the perfect down time shopping companion. It's hard to think of a better shopping device."

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