B2B Payments

Survey: Tablets Hold The Keys For B2B Commerce

Tablets are a staple now for small merchants who want a better way to interact with their customers. But just popular are tablets in the business world? Maybe more popular than you think. According to a recent survey, tablets are quickly becoming the “go-to” in the B2B universe, especially when it comes to organizations conducting research.

The tablet industry has truly exploded over the last few years, and now, seeing an iPad is almost as common as seeing individuals walking around with smartphones. But what does this mean for the B2B universe? According to a recent survey by IDG Global Solutions, it means everything.

IDG conducted its fifth annual Global Mobile Survey, and found that 80 percent of all tablet-owning corporates are using their device to research items in the evening. Additionally, the lines between business and personal use are becoming more blurred, as many workers now use tablets to research office products in their spare time.

Over 23,500 executives and consumers across 43 countries were interviewed, according to an IDG statement.

Christina Carstensen, an IDG Global Solutions spokesperson explained in the release that the “mobile evolution” is having a huge impact on businesses, as well as consumers.

“It has kick-started the ‘always-on’ culture, presenting brands with unprecedented opportunities to develop closer relationships with their customers,” Carstensen said. “We have moved beyond media convergence to a convergence of technology and humans, and brands more than ever need to show their human side to communicate in a relevant, engaging and intuitive way.”

Overall, tablet ownership numbers have sharply increased. IDG found that just 20 percent of respondents owned one in 2011, yet that number grew to 61 percent in 2014. Additionally, the report showed that software and computer accessories were the IT products most frequently purchased for business across all regions. IDG explained that this showed a huge opportunity for IT companies that are willing to invest in mobile commerce innovations, such as shoppable video.

Mobile phones are still a popular option, according to the survey. Approximately 92 percent of interviewed senior executives own a smartphone that they use for business, while 77 percent report they use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.

These results are in contrast to findings from the research firm IDC, which showed that tablet sales for the next year will likely be lower than 2013. Specifically, IDC reported that approximately 245.4 million tablets will ship in 2014, which is a decrease from its previous forecast of 260.9 million units. This is a 12.1 percent year-on-year growth, however, it is lower than the 51.8 percent that occurred in 2013.

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