The season just past is traditionally a time for relaxation and catching up with friends and family. For some it is the time to exchange gifts. The run up to the holiday season is one which consumers and retailers alike shift through the gears and tills can be heard ringing in unison from one end of the country to the other, but there are changes afoot in consumer habits and retailers reactions.
Online shopping has steadily been gaining traction in tandem with the traction gained by the internet itself and the technology we now have available to us has eased this transition, what would have seemed strange only a few years ago is now the norm, in fact it is somewhat more than the norm.
Technology has a tendency to move quicker than just about any other aspect of life, the adage ‘to stand still is to go backwards’, could have been written purely for the expeditious rate with which technology has advanced and continues to evolve in recent years, technology that now infiltrates nearly every corner of our lives. Since the advent of the internet online shopping has been available but didn’t gain any significant traction until the devices available to us made it easier to carry out the tasks and also retail sites were optimized for use with the devices concerned, the erosion of security fears associated with online transactions ensured that the stage was set for e-commerce and online shopping to start realize it’s colossal potential.
In 2013 e-commerce spend in the US tipped over $200 billion for the first time ever, while this figure is a shade under 6% of total retail spend in the US, there is little doubt that this is market which is destined to proliferate while traditional retail channels steadily contract. Online retailing isn’t the only technologically driven facet that is showing signs of change; tablets are challenging PC’s and laptops for supremacy as the online shopping tool of choice.
Recent reports suggest that over 50% of web traffic is now mobile; this is a trend indicative of how online traffic trajectory is expected to continue for mobile devices. Pc’s on the other hand have been showing steady signs of decline, a report by the IDC estimates that PC sales will be down by over 10% this year in comparison with 2012 with little expectation of growth, PC sales are widely regarded to have peaked in 2011.
There are many reasons why the tablet has become the device of choice for consumers, consumers are a canny bunch and they have realized that tablets can satisfy their needs and wants, After all wouldn’t the consumer prefer to sit in the cozy confines of their home, tablet in hand to make purchases as and how they please? Longer battery lives, app stores that are cheaper than traditional software for PC’s and a cheaper staring price all stand in the tablet’s favor. Sure, the PC has more storage and power but if the consumer is ultimately using the device to check emails and do online transactions, do they really need the bigger, bulkier, more expensive PC?
In short the answer is no, since the tablets inception it has steadily eaten into the market share previously enjoyed by laptops and PC’s. Whereas at one time the consumer would have accounted for half of all PC sales and the other half would have been businesses based. Consumers are now realizing that, for the most part, tablets will fulfill their needs, sure there will still be times when a PC will be required such as when inputting large amounts of text or performing other tasks that require software only available through PC’s but for the most part, and online shopping in particular, tablets are now the consumer device of choice, in fact data supplied by IBM has shown that there has been a 40% decline in PC use for online shopping this year which would allude to their rapidly fading star.
Check out this recent blog post to learn how to create a mobile catalog app.
It is not just consumers who have realized the potential of tablets but retailers too, consumers are the very lifeblood of their business so it is within the retailers best interests to be up to speed with any changes on consumer habits and in this case that means possibly having to pivot their approach through the creation of online and e-catalog’s. For more tips on creating an e-catalog, in particular some tips to ensure you highlight the paths to purchase on the products listed within it.
There is no right and no wrong choice, different people will have different needs, some people will always require more powerful devices to carry out more complicated tasks but what we are increasingly seeing is that that the PC and laptops position as the only go to place for tasks involving computing may have just about run its course. Pc’s and tablets are destined to live in a parallel existence, it just may be that the tablet has taken some of the tasks, once solely associated with Pc’s and laptops, namely online shopping and general computing, away from Pc’s forever.
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