Meeting expectations

E-commerce shapes how publishers compete

Earlier this month, I wrote about a Texterity survey of app use, as well as the potential of HTML5 as an app alternative.

Yesterday, Julieta Lionetti pointed me to coverage of a survey of “connected consumers” that found only 4% prefer to use branded apps for online commerce.  Of those surveyed, 87% preferred to access e-commerce websites from a PC or laptop.

A caveat: the survey is sponsored by Zmags, which offers retailers and other branded entities its “on-demand rich media merchandising platform”.  Zmags is in the business of selling non-app e-commerce solutions.

That doesn’t invalidate the results; it’s just worth remembering.  The full study, which contains more data than ReadWriteWeb was able to report, is available for download.

The 1,500 respondents skewed slightly female (52%) and richer (mean household income of $63,000 a year).  The survey found that e-commerce via tablets is expected to increase significantly in the coming year.

Although the research does not specifically address publishing, it is a harbinger.  Publishing is already blending with a variety of content-dependent businesses.  As Amazon ably illustrated, how people shop eventually influences their thinking about things like access, pricing and customization.

So I may not buy the idea that 87% of us prefer websites over apps (or would know if we did), but it is worth knowing that tablet owners value convenience, inspiration, straightforward transactions and price.  Whether through an app or a website, publishers will need to learn how to meet those expectations.

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