iPad – A New Wave of Progress for E-Commerce

By Nik

Want an iPad anyone?  I kind of do as well.  Amidst an incredibly enduring day of work, I started hearing chatter about a new Apple tablet yesterday.  Apparently, now Bostonians will need to enunciate when differentiating references to their Apple devices, because your Red Sox stickered “i-pahd” won’t hold a candle to the new iPad.  In addition to audible confusion, I think it creates an ever more unclear distinction in the reference between mobile and PC – that’s a big deal in my opinion; shock-wave-worthy.

For long, there were only minor size differences between mobile devices and these tiny “purse puppy” laptops.  But for all intents and purposes (ode to Cathy at BridesVillage.com), laptops were always considered part of the PC family.  Now, laptops are becoming princess-friendly (yes, I own a Droid and love their ads.)  And they’re looking a heck of a lot more like mobile devices than ever before.  So where’s the fine line? I’m pretty sure it’s blurred forever – I find that exhilarating.  More importantly, I find it “inviting”.

An Inviting Blur: The hope and promise of a stronger e-commerce world is contingent on the world’s willingness to adapt to the internet.  Phones have had a head start against PCs, so it’s no wonder that so many people consider mobile internet to be the key avenue of growth for e-commerce shopping and internet adaptation in general.  Although I hate to give Apple the credit for this shift in the marketplace values and trust factors when it comes to shopping online, they have surely made an impact and I believe this new iPad of theirs will continue that trend.  By further blurring the distinction between mobile and PC, the attitude of comfort achieved by phones will now share their strength with the PC world.  And no better Brand to facilitate a new level of comfort than Apple… enter my bigger point.

An Inviting Brand: In the conversion world, we consider the commitment to a personality type as a major sign of a strong brand.  Apple is the example I typically use in my mind when thinking of a brand that has committed to engaging the “social” part of our personalities when it comes to shopping.  They understood the learning curve challenges they faced with bringing their innovative products to market.  To overcome this obstacle, they greet everyone from grandma to tween when they enter the Apple store and offer to walk each individual through using their products.  They’ve helped push adaptation towards the mobile world in such a comfortable, non-intimidating way.  Now, they can bring that to a new set of customers.  Customers who were not in the market for a phone or a music player.  Now, customers with PC interests will be candidates to learn from Apple’s educational approach to shopping.  Sure, they have the Mac computers, but I always felt they positioned those as “advanced”, while iPods were always presented as “easy-to-use”.  And that’s where I think they’re going with the iPad.  That’s why I think it will push adaptation in a dramatic way.  That’s why I think this is a great sign for the future of online commerce.