The iPad is, as those annoyingly creative TV adverts show us, used for all sorts of things by all sorts of people. However, according to a press release that hit the DaniWeb news desk today, you might be forgiven for thinking that shopping isn't one of them. As usual though, the devil is in the detail.
The press release exclaimed that the Apple iPad was failing to be used by online shoppers and went on to reveal that a nationwide study of consumer habits in the UK had shown that Brits are not embracing tablets for online shopping and claimed that "only 4 percent of Brits are using a tablet for online shopping".
It pays to read on though, as the research wasn't actually showing that people with iPads don't use them to shop, but rather that the majority of people shopping online don’t actually own a tablet. And that's something altogether different.
The survey, commissioned by ecommerce site builder Basekit, is revealing in that it does show that currently the British are not embracing mobile shopping as much as might be expected given the amount of hype surrounding tablet and smartphone usage.
Here's what the research really discovered:
42 percent of Brits still do their online shopping from a Windows-based PC, and 42 percent from a Windows-based laptop. Only 9 percent use an Apple Mac, with laptops twice as popular as desktops in this regard.
4 percent of Brits are using a tablet to shop, and 76 percent of that 4 percent (are you still with me?) are using an Apple iPad. That works out to about 3.3 percent, or put another way almost the same number (3.7 percent) who use an Apple Mac desktop.
Only 2 percent of Brits use a smartphone to shop, with the Apple iPhone dominating this sector as well with 66% of that 2 percent share.
So, if you are thinking about developing an ecommerce site should you take tablet and mobile users into account? The above figures would seem to suggest not, but by not doing so you are still blocking an admittedly small number of potential shoppers and potential profit for the retailer. And it's a potential user-base that is growing year on year. As Juan Lobato, CEO at Basekit, says "With this research, we’re hoping to help UK online retailers and website developers make sure that their websites work hard for them. We don’t believe that many retailers need to rush into creating Apple iPad or Android phone applications as our research shows that Brits aren’t currently shopping through these as a general rule. However, we want to make sure that UK retailers are making informed decisions about their online footprint".
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .
I have both a Samsung tablet and an iPod, use neither for online shopping, always use my Windows 7 PC because its easier. I have seen a few (very few) people using tablets while shopping, most likely to do price comparisons or look at their shopping list.