Mobile Commerce in the New Tablet Economy



The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets as well as the widespread use of mobile applications has been fuelling the growth of mobile commerce around the world. This paper quantifies the economic contribution of tablets in ecommerce and m-commerce markets. We use an archival data from the largest online and mobile ecommerce website in China and exploit a quasi-natural experiment. Results show that the introduction of the tablet enhances the overall growth of ecommerce markets with its annualized impact of approximately US$6.06 billion. The tablet channel is a substitute for the existing PC channel and a complement for the smartphone channel. Further, consumers spend more when a tablet is used with other devices simultaneously at the same time. The most profitable combination of simultaneous device usage is that of a smartphone and a tablet. We provide insights for ecommerce retailers about how they can increase their sales volume and revenue in an emerging tablet economy.

Sang Pil Han is an assistant professor at Information Systems department in City University of Hong Kong. His research interests include economics of mobile analytics, online commerce, and social media and social networks. His papers have been published or accepted in Management Science, Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ), Information Systems Research (ISR) among others. He frequently works with and consults for leading firms in the mobile technology, ecommerce, and ad networks. He received the Marketing Science Institute and Wharton Interactive Media Initiative grants, the NET Institute grant, the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative grant, and the Hong Kong General Research Grant (GRF).