Orange County Business Journal

Rakuten: Tablets Top Smartphones

Mediha DiMartino Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tablets are well on their way to overtaking smartphones as the mobile device most frequently used for online purchases, according to the E-Commerce Index published by Rakuten Inc.

The survey of shopping trends in 14 markets shows that the use of tablets grew by 41.9% in 2013. That compares with a growth rate of 9.7% for use of use of smartphones during the same period, according to the Tokyo-based company which has 175 employees working for Rakuten.com, a global e-commerce site with headquarters in Aliso Viejo.

“We’re continuing to see a shift in how consumers interact with retailers through digital channels,” Bernard Luthi, Rakuten.com’s chief marketing officer and chief operations officer, said in a statement. “With tablets’ larger displays offering a more enjoyable experience than most smartphones, it seems bigger is better, however many retailers are failing to measure up when optimizing their online presence and apps. Retailers are missing a trick by not tapping into this trend and delivering a tablet-orientated experience to shoppers.”

Survey also showed that 81.8% of consumers globally use a desktop computer to shop online, while 13.8% of them use a mobile device.

Clothing and accessories are the items most commonly bought online in the U.S. Consumer electronics came out on top in Brazil, while shoppers in Japan are most likely to order or download books and magazines.