May 21, 2010

iPad to boost profits at online retail?

by Darren Allan

It’s a week today that the iPad will be officially available in the UK, after several delays and months of waiting.

Although demand has meant that pre-order ship dates have been pushed back to the first week of June.

Apple seems to think its device will go down as well in this country as it has in the US, where sales have currently clocked up over a million units.

And, according to a takeaway website, it seems that the iPad, if bought in enough numbers to bring it into the UK mainstream, will help to boost online retailers profits.

Just-Eat.co.uk has been busy analysing what operating system customers use to place orders.

Already, 0.5% of customers are ordering via the iPad, which might not sound like much, but it’s a meaningful quantity given that the tablet isn’t out yet. These are the super-keen Apple fans who have imported a tablet from the US.

That figure is almost equal to the amount of people who order on Samsung mobiles, for example, at 0.6%.

The more impressive statistic, however, is the tablet’s sales conversion rate, the measure of how many people are visiting and then purchasing.

35% of browsers on the iPad are buying – far more than the iPhone, which has a rate of 7.5%.

So it seems iPad users could be much bigger drivers of profits at retail than other mobile device owners, Apple’s own smartphone included.

As David Buttress, Managing Director of Just-Eat.co.uk, comments: “As soon as the iPad was announced, we were quietly confident that it would be an online retail game changer, as its simplicity and hassle-free design lend nicely to browsing whilst sat in front of the TV, often the time consumers are most likely to buy or order online.”

“The device hasn’t even launched in the UK yet and we’ve already seen more site traffic via the iPad than via established web-ready portable devices such as the Sony PSP.”

Of course, this is a relatively small sample of iPad users, and that has to be borne in mind.

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