With the number of Americans owning tablet devices forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51% between 2010 and 2015, tablet commerce is expected to grow rapidly over the same period, offering consumers a portable yet highly engaging shopping experience, according to a new report by Forrester Research in partnership with Bizrate Insights.

Below, additional findings from the report titled "Why Tablet Commerce May Soon Trump Mobile Commerce," based on a 2Q11 survey of online shoppers. 

Some 9% of surveyed online shoppers say they own a tablet device; among them, roughly 78% own a smartphone as well (i.e., 7% of online shoppers own both a tablet and smartphone), while 22% of tablet owners (2% of online shoppers) own a tablet only.

Shopping Online

Shopping online is a popular activity among tablet owners: 47% say they've purchased something via their tablet and an additional 13% have shopped via tablet without buying.

Tablets Preferred  

Among online shoppers who own tablets, most prefer tablets to smartphones when buying online and most find their tablet as easy to use as their computer when doing so:

  • 72% of Gen X*, 67% of Boomers, and 65% of Gen Y say they use their tablet more than their smartphone to shop online.
  • 62% of Gen X, 60% of Gen Y, and 57% of Boomers say it's just as easy to visit and buy from retail sites via tablet as it is via PC.

As adoption grows, tablets will likely provide at-home and portable (but not truly mobile) shopping experiences, while the role of smartphones solidifies as a complement to the in-store shopping experience, Forrester notes.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Why Consumers Prefer Tablets 

Factors such as a larger screen and richer content (via apps built for tablets) are two key reasons why shopping via tablet is taking off, writes Sucharita Mulpuru, one of the report's authors, in a recent blog post

But the tablet's portability is also crucial: Though the living room is cited as the top location to use a tablet device, according to the survey, people also use them on-the-go, particularly in restaurants and airports.

* Age-related demographic breaks are defined as follows: Gen Y (now under age 30), Gen X (age 30-44), Boomers (age 45-64), and Seniors (65 and older).

About the report: Findings for this study are based on two surveys from online buyers via Bizrate Insights' surveys fielded immediately after purchase: (1) Across Bizrate Insights' network of more than 5,000 e-commerce retailers in the US and Canada, from Jan 26 to Feb 28, 2011, among more than 28,000 respondents; and (2) Across the same network from March 14 to April 5, 2011 including data collected from more than 20,000 online buyers.

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Forrester: Why Tablet Commerce May Beat Out Mobile

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