April 5, 2012, 5:20 PM

iPad users love to shop at night—on the couch and in bed

There’s a huge spike in iPad traffic to retail sites at 8 p.m., Bazaarvoice finds.

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Consumers love using their iPads while they’re on the couch watching TV, studies have found. A new report shows that iPad traffic to retail web sites indeed spikes smack in the middle of prime time.

On average during the last three months in the 8 p.m. hour, 5% of total traffic to the web sites of 67 retailer and consumer brand manufacturer clients of social technology firm Bazaarvoice Inc. stemmed from iPads. That’s up from 2.5% at noon. And it seems iPad users like to shop in bed: 5% of total traffic during the 11 p.m. hour came from the tablet devices.

Bazaarvoice also measured smartphone traffic patterns. In general, there were fewer visitors on smartphones and no big traffic spikes. On average during the last three months in the 8 p.m. hour, 2.2% of total traffic came from iPhones and 1.7% from Android devices; at noon it was 2% for iPhones and 1.7% for Android devices. In the 11 p.m. hour, 2.7% of total traffic stemmed from iPhones and 2.1% from Android devices.

The mobile commerce lessons to be learned are that mobile devices using Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system overwhelmingly dominate Android and that retailers need to be prepared for iPad shoppers at night.

“IPad rules the night—from midnight to 5 a.m., the plurality of shoppers are using iPads, surpassing non-mobile, other tablet and mobile usage during these hours,” the Bazaarvoice study says. “IPad users also spend more time on sites than other visitors, averaging five minutes overall. This is 3% more time than computer users, 4 minutes and 50 seconds on-site, and nearly 16% more time than other tablet and mobile users, 4 minutes and 19 seconds on-site.”

IPad use continues to grow rapidly, and these users spend the most time on retail web sites—there’s no doubt iPads are here to stay and shoppers love them, Bazaarvoice says.

“Think about your consumer—she is no longer at the household desktop computer after dinner. She’s watching TV, running from one activity to another, or doing some shopping right before bedtime,” the study says. “If you don’t have an easy-to-use, robust mobile and tablet experience—including optimization for the iPad—you’re missing out on half of your after-hours sales. Make it easy to research, buy and contribute no matter how and when your customers shop.”

Watch a video of 2011 Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce & Marketing Forum keynote speaker Ed Deutscher of HSN speaking about the role of the iPad in m-commerce in the Video section of InternetRetailer.com.

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