Tablets become a more popular shopping device

The use of tablets to shop increased four times faster than the use of smartphones, but personal computers still are preferred for web shopping by 81.8% of consumers worldwide.

Abby Callard

The number of consumers citing tablets as their preferred way to shop online increased nearly four times faster in the past year than those citing smartphones, according to a study by online marketplace Rakuten. More consumers still prefer to shop on smartphones, however, with 6.8% citing it as their favorite method compared to 6.1% for tablets.

“Just four years after the launch of Apple’s iPad, tablets are fast-becoming the most popular device for shopping online,” says Bernard Luthi, Rakuten.com chief marketing officer and chief operations officer. “With tablets’ larger displays offering a more enjoyable experience than most smartphones, it seems bigger is better, however many retailers are failing to measure up when optimizing their online presence and apps. Retailers are missing a trick by not tapping into this trend and delivering a tablet-orientated experience to shoppers.”

Despite consumers’ growing comfort with tablets, personal computers still prevail as the primary web shopping tool. Globally, 81.8% of consumers cite using personal computers as their preferred method of shopping online, compared to 83.2% in 2013. In the U.S., 80.8% prefer personal computers.

Mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—were cited by 13.8% of consumers worldwide as their preferred online shopping device and 18% of consumers in the U.S. In 2012, only 12% of consumers shopped online using a mobile device. While smartphones are still preferred over tablets, the growth in consumers using smartphones to shop increased 9.7% from last year compared to 41.9% for consumers using tablets.

The United Kingdom emerged as the most tablet-forward market with 12.2% of consumers there saying they prefer to shop on tablets. In the U.S., 11.3% of consumers prefer shopping on tablets. Brazil on the other hand, had the lowest percentage of consumers shopping on tablets with just 0.7%.


Android, e-commerce, iPad, m-commerce, mobile commerce, mobile commerce statistics, Rakuten, smartphone, tablet