Call It 'T-Commerce': Almost 50% of iPad Users Have Made Purchases in Past Month

Yesterday comScore released its "digital omnivores" report, which is really about smartphone and tablet usage in major US and international markets. I covered it in preliminary form on Search Engine Land. The report is full of data but it makes the overarching point that smartphones and tablets are now critical platforms for publishers (as well as advertisers). Below I highlight some of the findings. 

As a preliminary matter, comScore now says there is 36.1% smartphone penetration in the US (against a base of 234 million adult mobile subscribers). By comparison Nielsen says that smartphone penetration has reached 43%. That's a pretty big discrepancy. Nielsen's figure is probably somewhat more accurate in my view. 

Either way, however, we've now crossed the 100 million mobile Internet user threshold. ComScore reported that "The mobile media user population (those who browse the mobile web, access applications, or download content) grew 19 percent in the past year to more than 116 million people at the end of August 2011."

ComScore adds that in the US and UK roughly 7% of Internet traffic is coming from non-PC devices. 

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It also shows how these devices reflect peaks and valleys at different times of day, with tablets being used much more heavily in the evening.

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ComScore also discusses, that despite Android's now greater smartphone population, iOS overall has more users (including iPod Touch and iPad). But the most dramatic slide is the second one below that shows how much more Internet traffic comes from iOS devices. Screen shot 2011-10-11 at 9.23.30 AM

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The report has considerable information about tablet usage. And as the headline suggests, perhaps we should stop talking about "m-commerce" and start talking about "t-commerce" (for "tablet"). Consumers use smartphones for shopping and product comparison information, but they use tablets to buy. This is due almost entirely to the larger form factor. But tablets also beat conventional PC e-commerce in some ways too -- because their more engaging devices. 

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Retailers and e-commerce sites in particular need to focus on tablets even more than smartphones. 

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