The iPad 3 officially launches worldwide today, marking the next step in the evolution of online shopping. While retailers have been creating apps for interactive catalogues, they have been slow to utilizing the iPad front for their websites, evident in the fact that even as of late last year, no major retail websites had iPad optimized displays.
Penetration of iPads is expected to hit over 40 million by 2012 and over 60 million by 2014. Legitimacy has arrived for the tablet as its own channel and the time has come for retailers to invest in truly establishing themselves on this front.
A huge bounty is at stake for the retailers that successfully enable customer interactions via the iPad across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Businesses have mostly focused on the apps and catalogues front, which are very useful in interacting with loyalty customers who are familiar with the brand.
But it isn't practical for someone completely new or relatively new to a store to download an app just to shop there. There's a significant base of new customers that can be captured by showing leadership in iPad commerce and those that step up to the plate in the most effective manner will gain the praise of the industry and the financial returns that come along with it.