Findings about tablet owners from the 800 strong study have important implications for retailers. IAB found that people who own a smartphone and tablet are more than twice as likely than ‘smartphone only’ owners to discover new products they would not otherwise have considered (20% vs 8%).
The reason for this is that tablet owners spend an average of 4.4 hours shopping online each week on their tablets. This compares with 2.2 hours on smartphones and 2.9 hours on laptops or PCs. Having larger screens and more powerful capabilities than smartphones, they are still small enough for people to carry round the home and even outside. At the same time, people tend to prefer them over laptops for online browsing and shopping activities because they are smaller, lighter, much faster at powering up, and provide a better user experience through applications and touchscreens.
One retailer that has taken advantage of the capabilities of the iPad is the furniture retailer, Harveys. In partnership with MediaVest, it has developed a tablet application (also available on the iPhone) through which people are able to browse the Harveys furniture range and superimpose different products onto images they capture by the device. People can then flip the image and try out different colour schemes. The app also has a social element through which people can share photos and get their comments. It mirrors the retailer’s strategic shift towards a more aspirational brand rather than one driven by price and sales messaging.
Initiatives such as this enable retailers to get closer to people by helping them meet their desires, aspirations and needs. Whether people want to create their ideal home, ideal wardrobe or ideal holiday, retailers that can facilitate them in this journey are more likely to win their attention and help them through to research, enquiry and purchase.