At some point, this rise in so-called T-commerce is likely to negatively impact retail storefronts, though that hasn’t happened yet, according to a new report by ABI Research.
But retailers have long been concerned that consumers (whether via a PC or mobile device) are increasingly using their stores as showrooms while making their purchases online.
ABI’s study shows tablet users are definitely keeping their options open. Activities such as price checking, using coupon and location-based searches, consistently rank high (over 50%) among the activities tablet shoppers engaged in over the past 90 days) while shopping.
“The opportunity to keep consumers buying in-store squarely remains with the retailer,” says Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director at ABI Research. “So far, the presence of a media tablet during the shopping experience has not altered the sales channel where consumers finally buy products.”
ABI said the biggest surprise in its “Consumer Media Tablet Usage” study is the degree to which tablets are increasingly used in conjunction with other media types.
For example, 14% said they use their tablet while watching TV, 17% with newspapers and magazines), which ABI notes makes the experience more immersive than static-only content engagement.
As of the end of 2012, ABI estimates nearly 200 million tablets will have shipped worldwide since 2009 and an additional 1 billion tablets are forecasted to ship over the next 5 years.