Almost three-quarters of tablet computer owners have made an online purchase or plan to do so in the near future, new research has found.

A study by price comparison service Shopzilla revealed six per cent of European online shoppers have a tablet device and, within that figure, 71 per cent have used it or intend to use it to buy goods or services.

Meanwhile, the same proportion of tablet owners admitted using dual screen technology to stream live content while they shop. More than half of the respondents said they do their web-based purchasing with friends, the survey continued.

“The year of mobile commerce, which has been predicted for some time, is finally here, with the explosion of the tablet market we are seeing a seismic change and the opportunity will be for the retailers who are first to get it right.”

Shopzilla’s, Rachel Smith.

The figures come shortly after Harris Interactive revealed research that showed a whopping ten million online consumers in the UK made a transaction using a mobile device in the last year. Forrester half-jokingly coined the term “T-commerce” in their report covering tablets and online retail. “In spite of the fact that the iPad was only introduced in the spring of 2010,” its analysts write, “it immediately proved to be a formidable driver of traffic through mobile devices. Many retailers report that already half of what they consider to be mobile traffic is coming through tablet devices.”

If you think about the characteristics of tablets, it’s easy to see why they may become major forces in e-commerce.

For starters, the media-rich capabilities can allow companies to design interactive and engaging adverts and catalogues for making purchases. The touch screen usability makes it even feel like a catalogue.


Global sales figures for Apple's iPad from the third quarter of 2010 to the company's most recent financial quarter.
Global sales figures for Apple’s iPad from the third quarter of 2010 to the company’s most recent financial quarter.


Apple has sold 170 Million iPads to date so it’s clear that retailers can not afford to ignore the rise of the tablet device.