March 11, 2011, 3:25 PM

Big spenders at Gilt Groupe shop with the iPad

The flash-sale site sells a $24,000 watch to a shopper using the tablet computer.

Lead Photo

Score a big one for iPad commerce: The most expensive item sold on Gilt Groupe so far, a $24,000 vintage watch, was purchased by a shopper using the less than year-old tablet computer from Apple Inc., according to Chris Maliwat, vice president of product development for the private-sale e-retailer.

He was speaking this week about iPad shopping trends at the Innovate 2011 conference in San Francisco. The conference was organized by the National Retail Federation, a trade group.

Gilt Groupe, one of the leading companies in the growing online private-sale industry, launched its iPad app in April. The retailer, which has some 4 million members and sells products from more than 1,000 brands, says 177,000 consumers have downloaded its iPad app. As of January, about 100,000 consumers a month actively use the iPad app, he says, compared with about 300,000 a month for the flash-sale site’s iPhone app.

Gilt Groupe earns about 4% of its revenue from purchases made from the iPad. Shoppers using the device are increasing their spend at a higher rate than consumers using other devices, Maliwat adds. And the average order value for a purchase made from an iPad is about 30% higher than for purchases made from an iPhone.

As the iPad approaches its first birthday, Gilt Groupe is learning more about what kinds of consumers are using the device, and how that use differs from other devices. Consumers using the tablet computers are engaging in a significant amount of browsing and shopping during the weekends and late at night; one reason consumers might take the device to bed is because laptops can feel hot to the skin, said co-presenter Munjal Shah, co-founder of Like.com, a comparison shopping site bought by Google last year. Drawing upon Google data, he added that consumers tend to use personal computers during the workday and smartphones during the commute.

The iPad also seems to balance out gender differences among consumers, Gilt Groupe is finding. 45% of traffic from the device comes from female consumers. By comparison, 65% of iPhone traffic comes from female consumers, while 45% of traffic from Android phones comes from women.

Gilt is No. 140 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Sreeram Ramachandran, senior software engineer at Google, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in a session entitled “Do your web pages need a new fitness regimen?

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