Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users

“Retailers have found an interesting characteristic of consumers who browse their websites using tablets: They’re much more likely to pull the trigger on purchases than other online shoppers,” Dana Mattioli reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“That discovery is making retailers focus on tablets ahead of the all-important holiday season, as the tough economic backdrop puts a premium on what the industry calls ‘conversion’ — making sure the shoppers who show up actually buy something,” Mattioli reports. “Tablets still account for only a small percentage of overall e-commerce, but they are punching above their weight. While the conversion rate — orders divided by total visits — is 3% for shoppers using a traditional PC, it is 4% or 5% for shoppers using tablets, says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research.”

Mattioli reports, “Many retailers also report that tablet users place bigger orders — in some cases adding 10% to 20% more to the tab — on average than shoppers using PCs or smartphones. Retailers are trying to take advantage of that trend by tweaking their websites to better accommodate tablets and rolling out catalogs that have been developed for the device. The tablet market is still dominated by Apple Inc.’s iPad.”

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“While only 9% of online shoppers own tablets [to date], their behavior is encouraging for retailers,” Mattioli reports. “Consumers tend to spend more time on the Web after buying a tablet, and nearly half shop from the device, according to a survey of more than 2,300 consumers by Forrester… Blake McCrossin, a public-relations associate in New York, says he thought shopping would be the last thing he would do on his iPad. The 30-year-old has since used the Apple device to order everything from clothes to a flat-screen television and has already finished most of his Christmas shopping using it. ‘The visuals and graphics are amazing, and I get caught up in impulse buying,’ Mr. McCrossin says.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another reason why smart developers focus on iOS and leave the ports on the back burner for the fragmented also-rans. iOS is where the money is.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wabash Sphinx” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Survey: BlackBerry still edges out iPhone as choice of ‘rich,’ Android tops among poorest respondents – September 26, 2011
Apple iPhone users most open to mobile payments – August 22, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Nielsen: Mac users are better educated and make more money than PC users – July 12, 2002


  1. I need to be an analyst, it must be the easiest job in the world. People who buy iPads buy them as a secondary device therefore they have money to buy above and beyond what they strictly need to get on the Internet (PC or Mac). If they have money to spend on a device that isn’t ‘strictly necessary’ they will have more money than the average punter. Is it just me or is that just completely obvious?

    (And as a generalisation people who buy iOS gadgets have more cash as they haven’t stooped to Android cheapness.)

  2. AND… iPad owners are more likely to buy more than “other” tablet owners, because they were willing to spend at least $499 on the iPad to begin with (instead of waiting for the $99 fire sale).

    1. ipad and fire sale? No way. Don’t live in dream worl mate!!!

      I hope you not waiting for fire sale. If you are then wait for 5 years and buy from online retailers ipad 5 years old for $99 or $1 for other old tablets

  3. OK, this is fine, but I’m perturbed by all the press saying Apple has a fierce competitor now from Amazon. What does the Kindle have that an iPad or phone doesn’t? The Flip didn’t have enough to make it, why would this “kindle tablet?’

    1. iPad is superior and Amazon doesn’t claim their product is superior. I think that’s one difference in Amazon’s approach. Most of the previous iPad copycats were trying to match iPad (including initial price), and that did not work.

      Another key point for the tablet market is that it is rapidly growing. For example, let’s say iPad’s current market share is 80% with the others having 20%. A year from now, let’s say iPad has 70%, Kindle Fire has 20%, and the others have 10%. That does NOT mean fewer iPads are sold, because the size of the tablet market doubled during that year. Significantly MORE iPads are sold, along with more other tablets.

      So there is plenty of space for iPad to continue (even accelerate) its sales growth AND for another tablet to also be a successful product.

      Here are the differences I see in Amazon’s approach. As mentioned, Amazon is not marketing their product as “better than iPad.” The initial price tag is low, so potential customers are not going to wait for the “fire sale.” Unlike others, Amazon can set a low price point because they want to profit from selling the content, not selling the hardware. It’s like Apple’s advantage with iTunes Store in selling songs; Apple does not need to profit from selling media, because the purpose of iTunes Store is helping to sell Apple’s hardware.

      Customers who want a “real” iPad will buy an iPad. However, there are plenty of consumers unwilling (or unable) to spend $499 (or even $399) on a tablet. Some of those people will buy a Kindle Fire, just as many were willing to risk $99 on the recent HP TouchPad fire sale. A Kindle Fire at $199 is a much better deal compared to a (dead-end) Touchpad.

      1. Agreed — some people WILL buy kindle fires who might have bought iPads. Or who will buy iPads later! But mostly it’s going to cost iPad’s so-called “competitors.”

        Speaking of which, has anybody heard about how the Toshiba “Thrive” is doing? Their tagline is, unbelievably, “The first tablet to get it right.” How’s that going for them?

  4. PC users just by the nature of their choice of platform are cheap bastards. Mac and iPad users are the desired consumer by a long shot. WinTel has always been about the lowest common denomination and why Apple reaps the big rewards and Microsoft is in a race to the bottom death spiral with about as uncool a status as any tech company out there. Virtually all of Apples businesses now make more money than Windows and/or all Microsoft products combined with an OS market share of only around 10%. That sez something.

  5. I got my wife an iPad last Christmas and she shops on it all the time. The problem is that there are still a lot of retail sites that are flash based or otherwise not friendly with the iPad, so she avoids them if she can. I have told her many times to send feedback to any online retailer if their site doesn’t work with the iPad because they will either change it or lose business.

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