Who: Insights on the iPad shopper

Marketing aphorism # 23: The more you know about your target audience, the more likely you are to drive them to conversions. So who uses the iPad to shop?

It’s a question worth answering. Let’s follow the statistical trail of several studies and see where it leads.

Some information on Apple’s ubiquitous tablet falls in line with what you would expect: Adobe’s Digital Marketing Insights report tells us that nearly one-third of iPad owners have an annual income greater than $75,000, and gently skews towards the 18-34 demographic.*

That’s prime real estate for marketers, but not too surprising. These tablets cost money, and new electronic toys generally tend to attract a younger crowd. It’s the other data gathered that provides a real eye opener.

Top purchases on the iPad (and what we can learn from them)

According to Zmags and their Equation Research survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers, 53% of iPad owners who responded said they had purchased electronics on their Apple tablet.**

Again, no big surprise. People with an electronic device are likely to be interested in other electronic devices. But that’s not all.

  • 41% had also bought books
  • 39% had purchased toys
  • 33% had bought music
  • 27% went for clothing

The average iPad shopper isn’t average at all

Now the picture alters of Mr. or Ms. iPad shopper (women eke out a slight majority lead of iPad ownership at 52%.)

Let’s form a composite picture. She or he is most likely college educated (hence the books and income); has children (the toys); and lean toward easy, instant gratification (the music).

That leaves one other highly interesting revelation: over 1/4th of the respondents said they had purchased clothing. That’s right, clothes.

Selling clothes via the Web can often be a tough nut to crack. People like tangible items in this field. They like to try things on. See how they fit. Get friends’ instant opinions.

Since we don’t have that 23rd century hologram app yet, how do mcommerce clothes fit the standard iPad shopper profile? Answer: That general profile has expanded—and widely. Now more niche markets are open on tablets, thanks to the iPad’s sheer breadth in numbers.

Shoppers on the iPad now include vast numbers

55 million iPads have been sold up to the end of 2011, according to Apple, and are expected to nearly double by the end of this year. With that volume, we’re far beyond the early adopter and electronically curious. It’s hit mainstream and then some.

Further, 29% of iPad users say that convenience drives their shopping simply because they spend a lot of time using it.** It’s in their hands, and they’re surfing the Web. Why wouldn’t they use it to shop online, too?

Other scintillating details about people who shop on tablets:

  • 69% of tablet owners make a purchase on their device every month
  • 51% use a tablet to fill what would previously have been “dead time”
  • 44% said they would not want to be separated from their tablet
  • 42% said that their tablet changed communication with friends/colleagues***

These numbers from inMobi and Mobext are difficult no, impossible to ignore in online marketing.

Now that we’ve answered what the iPad shoppers are like, it’s time for a bigger question: How well is your current site serving their needs?


Adobe® Digital Marketing Insights Report
** Zmags via Internet Retailer
*** inMobi and Mobext via econsultancy

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