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Mobile Shoppers Prefer Tablets

Larger screen, portability and features make the devices more engaging.

Though more people use cell phones and laptops to shop online, buyers prefer tablets for making purchases, according to a recent study.

Forrester Research polled more than 20,000 online shoppers and found that, while tablet owners account for just 9 percent of online buyers, they have made 20 percent of all mobile purchases. The survey also found that owners of tablets say they preferred shopping online with their tablets over their mobile phones or personal computers.

The tablets’ larger screens was among the reasons shoppers preferred it, the survey notes. Portability was another. Shoppers also said the design of tablets—for instance, the ability to flip pages and scroll horizontally—make tablets more engaging than cell phones.

Online retailers have reported buyers’ affection for tablets as well. In earlier Forrester Research studies, retailers noted that 21 percent of their mobile traffic comes from tablets. Some sites reported that number being as high as 50 percent, according to news reports.

But tablets aren’t just influencing how people buy. They’re also increasing the amount of time people spend online. Survey respondents say they spend more time on their tablets than they do on their computers.

These trends could continue, as 82 million Americans are expected to own a tablet by 2015. Mobile shopping is expected to grow from $3 billion to $31 billion by 2016, according to news reports.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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