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Shopping by Tablet Expected to Rise

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Consumers spent more than $20 billion shopping on mobile devices last year, and $5 billion of that came from purchases made using a tablet, according to a new report by Javelin Strategy & Research.

The report also found that shoppers using tablets spent an average of $10 more than other mobile shoppers like those using smartphones.  As the clock ticks down toward the holiday season, it seems that more and more shoppers may find themselves firing up their mobile devices rather than braving the crowds in brick-and-mortar stores.

Tablet Shopping Similar to PC Shopping

The Kindle Fire and the iPad are the two most commonly used tablets for making purchases. The study shows that owners of these devices make more expensive and more frequent purchases than people who shop via smartphone.

With the larger display offered by a tablet, consumers are more likely to make a purchase using their tablet than their phone. Tablet screens are much more shopper-friendly as well. And the user experience on a tablet more closely resembles that of a personal computer, so consumers who are already accustomed to shopping online can transfer the experience more smoothly.

Also, there will be more tablet users. Javelin predicts that within the next three years, the number of people who own tablets will more than double. Sales via the hardware can also be expected to grow exponentially.

Mobile Rewards Abound

Shopping using a mobile device can also offer more opportunities for discounts and rewards. American Express cardholders, for instance, can take advantage of their popular Sync program. Simply by syncing their eligible American Express account with their Twitter, Foursquare, or Facebook account, they will automatically receive special location-based cash back offers and discounts.

Recent AmEx Sync offers included a $10 back in cash on $75 purchases at Zappos; $10 back on a $50 purchase at The Cheesecake Factory, and $100 cash back on a Dell computer purchase over $599. Using Foursquare to “check in” at certain locations will trigger a discount offer. On Twitter, tweeting certain hashtags will unlock other offers.

Other cash back offers, like Discover’s 5% cash back at department stores  or anywhere online, Chase Freedom’s 5% back at Kohl’s and Best Buy, or Citi Dividend’s 5% back at Macy’s, and electronics and toy stores – all good through December 31 – will reward card holders whether they make purchases online, via mobile device, or in stores.

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