Study: Retailers Leveraging Tablet Computers to Elevate Boost Sales

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Washington–Consumers are doing more than reading and playing “Word with Friends” on their tablet computers.

By the end of this year, more than 60 million Americans are forecast to own a tablet computer and increasingly they are using them to shop.

In the 2012 Research Inc. State of Retailing Online survey, 49% of retailers say their average order value via a tablet is now higher than traditional web sales.

Nearly three in 10 retailers say they are seeing about the same average order value from tablets as their website. The State Of Retailing Online research series, which provides retailers annual industry benchmarks of marketing, business investment and activities, surveyed 59 companies.

When it comes to actual sales retailers are reporting, the survey found tablet sales accounted for 3.2% of total web sales in 2011; smartphone sales were at 1.5%.

“Retailers must continue to look for unique ways to elevate their brand in such a competitive market. Tablets and mobile devices offer the perfect answer, with opportunities to create specialized apps, drive web sales and create an engaging and convenient shopping experience,” said executive director Vicki Cantrell.

“Overall, we expect smartphone shopping adoption rates to stay low but fully believe tablet sales will continue to change how retailers garner the attention of new and current customers,” Cantrell said, adding that tablet usage will soon be ubiquitous.

QR Codes Emerge as Popular Mobile Marketing Tool

Eight in 10 retailers say search and email are the top two drivers of a company’s web traffic from either a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, retailers surveyed report that, on average, 20% of emails opened in a given campaign are opened on a mobile device.

Additionally, QR codes have become more standard elements of retailers’ mobile marketing efforts within their stores and in advertising. Three-quarters (75%) say they now offer shoppers the 2D technology and other barcode scanning options. For companies with less than $10 million and more than $100 million in annual online sales, QR codes rank as the leading mobile marketing tool in terms of usage. Mid-size retailers rely more heavily on mobile email optimization, with QR codes coming in second.

Though it’s hard not to notice the mobile revolution in progress, retailers are still adjusting to the sea of change that mobile not only on shopping behavior but how retailers market themselves. Retailers report that, on average, 3.9% of their total interactive marketing budgets this year are dedicated to mobile advertising.

“Retailers have been apprehensive about committing to bigger mobile commerce and advertising budgets because consumer behavior and the device landscape are changing so quickly,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst and vice president at Forrester Research. “E-commerce on desktops and laptops took time too. But eventually, we expect that retailers will grow their mobile marketing budgets to address the fact that the mobile channel has unique aspects, like location-triggered messaging, that can be compelling ways for brands to connect with shoppers.”

About the survey

The State of Retailing Online 2012 will be available to members in the month of June and can be purchased at that time at Forrester clients will be able to access the report as part of their subscription service two weeks from, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996,’s 600 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60% of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers.

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