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Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce
When 4% of your total revenue is coming from one device—not one type of device, such as a tablet PC, but one singular device, an iPad tablet PC—you should be currying favor with these device users, and then some.
4% of Gilt Groupe’s total sales are now coming in via the iPad, the private-sale merchant’s vice president of product development, Chris Maliwat, reports. Gilt Groupe won't release exact sales figures, but it tells Internet Retailer it raked in between $400 million and $500 million in 2010. If they do the same sales this year that they did in 2010, let's say $500 million (they’ve been growing phenomenally, though), and iPad sales don’t grow (which they will) and stay at 4%, that’s $20 million in 2011 all from one mobile device.
The iPad isn’t even one year old yet (it cuts the cake next month), but Gilt Groupe saw opportunity and began fawning over iPad users early on with a powerful iPad app, a visual stunner that creates a thoroughly enjoyable shopping experience. And now it’s reaping the rewards. 177,000 shoppers have downloaded the app and as of January about 100,000 actively use it on a monthly basis, the merchant reports.
And Friday the iPad 2 went on sale. Analysts say Apple Inc. sold up to 500,000 of the second iteration of the hugely popular tablet PC and that 70% were sold to consumers who did not own the iPad 1. So that’s a lot more iPad users out there, and plenty more to come when Apple replenishes its stock. (It sold 15 million of the original version from April through December last year.)
Competitors like the Motorola Xoom are finally hitting the street. They’ve been slow in coming, and are priced higher than the iPad. Plain and simple: Apple was the innovator and led the way with the iPad, which owns the tablet PC market and will continue to do so for some time to come. Research firm eMarketer Inc. says the iPad will account for 81% of the tablet market this year and 74% in 2012.
If you do nothing else today, check your web logs for iPad traffic. If it’s in any way significant, you need to immediately cater to this affluent crowd. Create a version of your e-commerce site that contains no Flash, a technology the iPad does not run. And as soon as you’re done with that, make sure all your hero shots and larger pictures (ideally all pictures) are high-resolution and stunners (the iPad’s screen really brings images to life). Then make sure the dimensions of the iPad version of your site fit well with the dimensions of the iPad screen.
It’s important to address your web site first before thinking about an app because iPad owners are surfing the web like mad. If you have a goodly number of shoppers coming to your site via the iPad and your customers tend to be extremely loyal, then consider an app. And don’t worry about Android tablet apps quite yet. The iPad owns this game, and it’s time for you to play.