Twenty one percent of mobile sales come from tablets.1 As people are spending more time online due to devices such as iPads and tablets, especially online shoppers, it's time to consider optimizing your business's website to capture these consumers.
The graph below shows the huge growth potential that lies within the tablet economy, including a projected 35.6% of internet users to be tablet users by 2014.
Tablets are preferred over smartphones for web shopping.2 The reason for this includes the fact that web shoppers opt for larger screens offered by tablets as opposed to smartphones, making it easier to use and view items in a web browser.
We're in an app world now. Tablets are used for much more than just web browsing devices. Apps also aren't just web-browsing tools, but an in store experience
. Tablets allow you to bring the store and the experience to your home, inside your living room as you're sitting on the couch relaxing after work. According to Geek.com
, a record 1.2 billion apps were downloaded during the last week of 2011, and 509 million in the US alone.
Of those surveyed, the number one online shopping app downloaded was a retailer specific app.3 What this means is it's important that retailers configure their websites so they display properly on tablets for ease of viewing.
Here are a few ways to optimize retailer sites for tablet shoppers:
Identify activity and volume of your site
During this step you want to use and understand in-house metrics to identify the main platforms through which consumers visit your website, such as tablet, PC and mobile. Also, it is important to do an initial 'site check' of your website to see how it appears on different devices. Forget auditing your site on just tablet v. mobile platforms. There are various differences between different tablets as well. For example, your site may display differently on an iPad as opposed to a Kindle Fire simply because the iPad is about 9.5 x 7 inches and the Kindle Fire is about 4 x 6 inches.
Highlight and optimize key activities
In order to best determine how exactly to optimize your site based on your consumers' needs, it's important to see why your consumers are visiting your site and what they are using it for. Are they buying items and using a checkout system, are they browsing various items or information, or are they just accessing account information? You want to optimize your site based on your consumers' needs to make your site easier to navigate and increase convenience. If your consumers are searching, insert and optimize a quick navigation bar throughout the site and highlight a search bar for ease. Lastly, create ease throughout the checkout process by offering alternative payments. The easier the checkout process, the higher the conversion.
The 'fat finger' effect
Tablets and smartphones are predominantly touch screen these days, so adjustments need to be made to the tap areas on the screens so consumers can easily navigate throughout the site. And here we introduce the 'fat finger' effect--you're trying to 'click' or tap on the 'Checkout' button but instead you're actually tapping on the button that says 'edit cart' or 'continue shopping'. If only the size of the buttons were bigger and further away from other links to avoid this issue. Another option is to include predictive search capability throughout on-site search navigation which minimizes key strokes, like a short-cut.
Streamline product detail pages
You can further optimize your retail site by removing any elements that just simply don't convert as well as others. This will create a cleaner pathway to get consumers to checkout and make it much easier and convenient. This will also maintain focus on what consumers are trying to do and minimize distractions.
Ultimately, you want to give consumers more ways to get on to your website. Therefore, you want to enable purchasing to occur very quickly and ensure ease of experience--this is key. The ease of experience makes tablet shopping apps more useful. It's time to stay ahead of the game and optimize consumers' tablet-browsing experience while shopping online. Don't fall behind, and watch your ROI grow.
1 Forrester Research: "The State of Retailing Online 2011".
2 Bizrate Insights Tablet Commerce Flash Survey 2011, in partnership with Forrester Research.
3 Bizrate Insights Tablet Commerce Flash Survey 2011, in partnership with Forrester Research.