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The Rise of Couch Commerce (Infographic)

Online sales by way of a tablet has been dubbed Couch Commerce, but could as easily be called Bed Commerce since nearly equal numbers of people do it from either location. Then again, I suppose people could easily misconstrue “Bed Commerce” so it’s probably best that we stick with the couch.

The furniture in this equation is important because it represents a shift in how we shop online. There’s a psychological difference between sitting down at a desk and firing up the PC to shop, and sitting on the couch shopping while you watch TV in the evening. The size of the tablet and the touch screen makes it more engaging and since you’re sitting there watching a Storage Wars marathon anyway, there’s no need to rush. In other words, tablets turn shopping into entertainment and we humans do love to be entertained. (As evidenced by the fact that we’re watching Storage Wars.)

In order to impress upon you the importance of including Couch Commerce in your thinking, Monetate has put together a lovely infographic. Honestly, there’s nothing here that we didn’t already know, but there’s something about seeing it in graphical format that makes it more real. For example, look at the section on the top right. PCs are still winning the online race by a mile. But look at the jump in tablet usage year-over-year, compared to smartphones. It’s quite a leap.

The chart, which you can access here, tells us that 119 million tablets will be sold this year and 70% will be iPads. Tablet usage has grown across every age bracket, including the 0-11 group (132% growth), who, granted, don’t have a lot of spending power now but the future is in their hands.

Traffic to the web via tablets grew 348% year-over-year.

The infographic ends with a bit of information that was news to me and it’s a very important tidbit. Check this out:

Security and ease of use are two of the issues that plague couch commerce and Paypal solves them both. They make sales almost one-touch easy, which is likely why they account for such a large portion of all transactions. But how many sites offer Paypal as an option? It’s increasing, but in my own experience, plenty of sites still want you to key in your credit card info and that’s a pain on a tablet.

What’s funny here is that Paypal was invented long before tablets were in vogue and now they’re riding that wave as the only real virtual wallet option. Google tried it but it didn’t catch on. I love Paypal, but they could do with some competition and I don’t see any on the horizon.

It’s time to look at where you stand. If you have an online store, have you tested it on an iPad? Does your shopping cart work? Do you accept Paypal? If not, you’re probably missing out on sales.

Monetate says there will be approximately 300 million tablets in use by 2016. Make sure you get your fair share of the commerce by getting your online store tablet ready right now.