The latest and greatest gadget from Apple has the potential to transform the online shopping experience, ecommerce experts say. The iPad and a growing wave of similar tablet computers may "revolutionize" the industry, according to a report in Business Insider. The first expected apps-that is, applications, or programs-will be designed by retailers for interactive catalogs and making purchases. Gap.com already "has an app for that."
The iPad is already a tremendous success, with initial sales topping two million units in the first two months, and that pace is not slowing. In fact, analysts are predicting 6.2 million units will be sold in 2010. That translates into a lot of online shoppers, and the retailers who keep up with the trend stand to rake in the rewards.
An article at Practical Ecommerce offers some practical tips on how to meet the opportunity, as well as the challenge. First, as more mobile platforms are used for Web browsing, e-retailers need to develop alternative websites designed for the smaller screens of these devices. Also, beware of Flash applications on your site, since they may not be supported.
The founder of an ecommerce solution provider, David Fry of Fry Inc., told The Y's Choice blog that within two years, many stores will have dedicated iPad apps. He says that shoppers are as ready to make big purchases on an iPad as on a desktop-maybe even more so.
But will the e-retailers be ready?
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