3 Ways the iPad Impacts Retail
Apple reported that through the end of the second quarter in July, it had already sold 3 million iPads since its April 3 launch. And recent projections have the technology giant selling 21 million more of the devices in 2011 alone. Aside from its impressive sales figures, this new device already has found its way into our culture, making appearances on hit TV shows, in popular YouTube videos and in White House policy meetings.
With this much momentum, what kind of an impact might the iPad have on retailers? We'll see much more innovation in the year ahead, but here are three early signs of the iPad’s expected impact on retail:
Surfing and Sharing
The latest data indicate that consumers love surfing the web on their iPads. A recent research report from Morgan Stanley states that average iPad users spend more than twice as much time on the web using an iPad than they do using their smartphones, and spend nearly as much time on an iPad as on their desktop computers. Families are sharing their iPads, and even sharing a surfing session on the couch by passing the lightweight device back and forth. You can imagine a husband and wife making vacation plans together while watching TV.
What does this mean for retailers? They must make sure customers and prospects have a great shopping experience when they come to their online stores on an iPad.
We know that smartphone users are more likely to come to a retailer’s mobile-friendly website on their phone’s browser than they are to download a native e-commerce app from a mobile app store. However, the iPad’s larger screen, faster processor and longer battery life may change that.
Retailers like the Gap, Gilt Groupe and Rue La La have released fast, fun and simple-to-use iPad applications that are already racking up sales. Gilt Groupe and Rue La La use push notification to drive consumers back to their apps to take advantage of limited-time promotions. A dedicated iPad app can provide a better shopping experience than a standard website, so retailers should be on the lookout for opportunities to develop a great app that becomes part of their customers’ daily lives.