Consumers are using mobile to research product purchases, but not to transact. The question facing retailers is when will mobile transactions contribute to sales in a meaningful way? The answer is, when tablet (aka iPad) penetration rivals smartphone penetration. Today, according to a Consumer Electronics Pew Survey, tablet penetration (dominated by the iPad) is at 5 percent of adults. U.S. smartphone penetration, according to Nielsen, will be over 50 percent in 2011. Even though tablet penetration is one-tenth smartphone penetration, we're seeing evidence that the iPad is being used by consumers to transact.
The Smartphone Is the Form Factor for Mobile Research
The smartphone is recently established as the form factor for mobile research, a game-changer in consumers' pre-purchase behavior. Smartphone penetration is driving consumers' ability to research products and services from anytime, anywhere, and increasingly, that research is happening while standing in a retail store.
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The iPad Is the Form Factor for Mobile Commerce
Tablet penetration is already respectable - there will be more than 50 million of them in consumers' hands at year-end - and growing steadily. The success of the iPad has spurred competitive response from Samsung, Motorola, LG, Vizio, and others, who all introduced or plan to introduce their own branded tablet product.
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Making Your E-Commerce Tablet-Friendly
How can you position your enterprise to take advantage of the tablet's role in making retail purchases?
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Cathy has over 20 years of experience in both multichannel and online retail and a deep understanding of consumer needs and goals. Cathy's proven track record spans a range of industries and companies, from start-up ventures to multibillion dollar operations. Cathy is currently a Board Member at Ulta Beauty (ULTA), the largest beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass, and salon products and salon services in the United States. She has served as SVP, marketing & sales at PowerReviews, the world's most widely deployed social commerce platform, where she was responsible for overseeing the company's rapid customer and revenue growth. Prior to PowerReviews, Cathy held executive-level positions at Walmart: chief marketing officer Walmart.com, vice president of market development, global e-commerce, and vice president of product management and multichannel integration. Ms. Halligan has also held executive positions with leading retailers Williams-Sonoma, Gymboree, and Blue Nile, and was an associate partner at Prophet, a leading management consulting firm. She started her career as a marketing coordinator at Lands' End.
For real-time social commerce news and updates, follow Cathy on Twitter at @CathyHalligan.
March 19, 2014