The Agenda

Tablets Fuel Consumption

Caveat emptor, if Dana Mattioli of the Wall Street Journal is reading the evidence correctly:

Tablets still account for only a small percentage of overall e-commerce, but they are punching above their weight. While the conversion rate—orders divided by total visits—is 3% for shoppers using a traditional PC, it is 4% or 5% for shoppers using tablets, says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Many retailers also report that tablet users place bigger orders—in some cases adding 10% to 20% more to the tab—on average than shoppers using PCs or smartphones. Retailers are trying to take advantage of that trend by tweaking their websites to better accommodate tablets and rolling out catalogs that have been developed for the device. “Everything helps,” says Peter Sachse, chief marketing officer at Macy’s Inc. and chairman of Macys.com.

Fortunately, the broadband service I rely on here in New York city is so notoriously unreliable that I can’t reliably shop from my tablet device, thus restraining any urges towards excessive consumption.