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How Tablets’ Popularity Creates Opportunity for Small Business

July 2nd, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Tablet use is growing by leaps and bounds, reports the Online Publishers Association, which recently conducted a survey of how tablet owners are using the devices. Here are some highlights of what they found, and what it means for your business.

31 percent of the U.S. Internet population owns a tablet, up from 12 percent in 2011 when the OPA conducted its first study. By early next year, that figure is projected to rise to 47 percent, or 117.4 million U.S. consumers.

Tablet users are highly responsive to ads on tablets. 37 percent said ads on the device are “hard to ignore,” 33 percent say they are “eye-catching,” 29 percent say they are “unique and interesting” and 28 percent say they are “relevant.” Twenty-seven percent said an ad had motivated them to buy a product, and 26 percent said an ad had motivated them to research products. Some 23 percent of tablet users report having clicked on an ad in the last six months, while 20 percent have used a special offer or coupon delivered via tablet.

Tablets are a research tool. Some 19 percent of tablet owners have visited a product website in the last six months, and 29 percent have used the device to research a product.

Tablets are already a key part of consumers’ daily lives: 60 percent of tablet owners using the device several times a day, for an average of 13.9 hours per week. Typically, tablets are used in the evening and at night, between 5 and 11 p.m. Although tablets are most often used in the home (67 percent of time), they’re used at work or school 15 percent of the time, in the car or while commuting 14 percent of the time. Use while shopping is rare (just 4 percent).

Already, 38 percent of tablet owners (23 million people) have used the device to buy something online. While tablet apps are the biggest category of purchases, 21 percent have purchased retail or apparel, 19 percent consumer electronics and 17 percent health and beauty products.

How can you take advantage of these tablet trends?

  • Consider advertising. Tablet advertising clearly gets results, whether motivating actual purchases or driving consumers to learn more about your product.
  • Make your website tablet-friendly. When consumers use tablets to research your products or services, make sure they can learn what they need easily.
  • Time your emails right. If you’re marketing to tablet users via email, consider sending your emails after work hours, when users are most likely to be browsing or “playing” on their devices and more receptive to your emails.
  • Consider developing a tablet app. If an app makes sense for your business, a free one can raise your business’s profile and create more loyal customers, while a paid one can generate revenue of its own.

Image by Flickr user cote (Creative Commons)


The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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