Internet-connected devices are exploding in the United States.
There are 31.8 million Internet-accessible tablets, according to The NPD group, and IDC estimates with global tablet shipments rising 142% in the first quarter of 2013, the post-PC era shows no signs of slowing.
The insights support findings in the Monetate EQ1 2013 that looks at social commerce to provide deeper insights on consumers and customers. It analyzes tablet commerce to determine how Android devices can grab more tablet traffic from iPads.
Brand-specific trends around tablets have begun to emerge. Google estimates 900 million Android activations by the end of this year. Visits from Android tablets have almost doubled in one year, while traffic from iPads remains flat, according to the report.
Not only are searches and traffic from Android tablets continuing to increase, the average order value of shoppers using these devices continues to gain ground, compared with consumers purchasing from iPads. A year ago, iPad users spent nearly 18% more than shoppers on Android tablets. In Q1 2013, iPad users spent just 3.7% more than Android shoppers.
Interestingly, consumers on average spent about $106 from Macs vs. Windows at $98. Compare that with $107.14 and $107.03 for Android smartphone vs iPhone, respectively.
Marketers can also benefit by becoming customer-centric, rather than worrying about conversions. The study found that increasing engagement and loyalty creates a longer customer lifetime and higher value. Understanding location to customize segments, such as distance to closest store or competitor, yields bigger returns. In turn, retailers that promote hassle-free in-store return policies can develop a more personal relationship with consumers.
A trend toward supporting military personal also has begun to emerge. Retailers with the ability to bridge the gap between ecommerce and in-store sales and returns also have an opportunity to serve U.S. military personnel and their families stationed on bases worldwide often in remote locations, according to the report.
While they're still a small percentage of overall traffic to ecommerce Web sites, armed forces personnel stationed in Europe convert at 4.3%, much higher than the average conversion rate for all consumers shopping in the United States, about 2.5%. The average order value for visitors who reside on military bases around the world is 23% higher than the average order value of shoppers across the United States.
There is an increasing advantage to Android tablets compared to the iPad and iPad Mini, especially on price.
One online U.S. reseller called TabletSprint is offering a number of new tablets that launch in the next few weeks with impressive features and more competitive pricing compared to the current Nexus, Kindle and iPad tablets.
One Android tabletmaker that stands out among the rest is Ainol Electronics, which won runner up for "Best Tablet of the Year" as CES 2012 and has launched one new model this week called the Novo 8 Discovery – which is available for $165 at TabletSprint — this new Android device compares in size to the Mini iPad... featuring a 7.85 inch display; and also offers a Quad Core processor with 2GB DDR3, 16 GB Memory, and a 5000 mAh battery with 7+ hours of active use; along with Bluetooth connection, a MicroSD slot, HDMI 1080p with 4K output to stream videos to a TV, and the latest version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean O/S — along with Google Play Store preinstalled, with access to over 400,000 Android Apps. It is also on of the first tablets available to work with the new Miracast Cloudnet HD Wireless adapter which is similar to Apple's AirPlay system, and which retails for $35, making it the first affordable HD system priced under $100. This technology lets users stream movies and other media content wirelessly to their HDTV and to also use there tablet as a control device to play video games on a TV display.
TabletSprint is also offering a few models that are part of the first wave of affordable 3G tablets priced under $200 that feature built-in 3G - HSPA+, many of which were introduced last month at one of Asia's largest electronics show - the Hong Kong Expo Sourcing Fair. Up to now, the Nexus 7 - 3G model with a built-in SIM card slot, has primarily been the most affordable 3G tablet, priced at $299 USD --
Use of 3G with a tablet of course makes internet access easier, compared to limited range WiFi; and also provides for standard wireless calling through a tablet device... accepting SIM Cards from GSM Carriers -- that when also combined with nearly free Voice VoIP services such as Google Voice and Skype, can practically offer a "unlimited everything" set-up with wireless carrier plans that start at the $30 price point.
The landscape for the tabletmakers is changing for 2013 as Android becomes more popular. Ultimately, the consumer wins, with more affordable products and new technologies.
The thing I found interesting was that "There are 31.8 million Internet-accessible tablets, according to The NPD group...". That equates to around one tenth of the US population, yet I regularly read on newsletters like Mediapost that 'everyone' is watching TV and tapping away on social media at the same time. Methinks the truth lies somewhere in between but definitely closer to the former than the latter.