How mobile commerce can harness the tablet

Everyone thinks that mobile phones and mobile commerce are the next big things, and I think what this data shows is it’s probably actually tablets. We have always capped e-commerce at 10 to 15 percent of total retail sales, but this potentially has the capability of really expanding e-commerce much beyond that.

That’s from Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst with Forrester, commenting in the New York Times on a recent Forrester study that found that tablets already account for 20 percent of e-commerce sales, despite the fact that only 9 percent of shoppers own tablets. Those figures come on the heels of last week’s survey from Perfomics, indicating that tablets are increasingly driving paid mobile search impressions. The study found that tablets account for 14 percent of paid mobile search impressions, and they generate 1.7 percent of all paid search impressions. And businesses looking to take advantage of that emerging trend must innovate in a few key areas.

For example, in the app space, retailers should consider producing their own branded app as well as leveraging third-party apps and online social networks. In search, advertisers should take advantage of offerings like Google’s new tablet-targeting options, which enable them to include “tablets with full browsers” on the list of devices they want to receive their ads. In my latest weekly update at GigaOM Pro, I brainstorm more about the areas in which businesses and advertisers need to take advantage of the rise in tablets in order to conquer the mobile commerce arena.