Retailers to Sell One-Third of Tablets This Year


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Tablets are now the hottest growth commodity in the tech industry. A recent Gartner report even showed that tablet growth is largely helping to offset the decline of the PC industry and pushing continued IT growth in 2013. Now it appears that electronics retailers, which have been struggling to keep up with the changing marketplace, might have a place in tablet sales channels.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics today revealed its prediction that specialist electronics retailers will make up 35% of global tablet shipments this year. That's more than any other sales channel, including direct manufacturer sales. The firm attributes this statistic to consumer buying habits, specifically customers comparison shopping between the growing variety of tablets on the market.

"While the channel composition is complex, providing consumers with many ways to buy, consumers are clearly happy to buy Tablets from outlets where they can hold, touch and play with the devices", said Matt Wilkins, Director of Tablets and Wearable Devices for Strategy Analytics. Wilkins went on to say that "…it is particularly important for first-time buyers to see the devices in the flesh, with competing models and price-points side-by-side."

Although electronics retailers will have a place in tablet sales channels they are also subject to "showrooming," where customers shop at a physical retailer and then order from another retailer online. In addition, Strategy Analytics points out that online sales are more convenient in emerging markets such as China and Brazil, where retailers may not have a large physical infrastructure. The largest growth in the tablet market in the coming years is predicted to be from low-cost devices in those emerging markets.