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The Internet market is ever-exploding and with ever-expanding technologies, there are more reasons for Internet users and businesses to rejoice. If inferences are to be made by checking out survey and figures estimations, tablets are considered to be the biggest game changers of Internet usage and consumption in the present day.
According to Online Publishers Association (OPA), 31 per cent of US Internet users now own a tablet, an increase of about 12 per cent from 2011. The numbers are expected to rise next year. According to a Pew Research Center’s report, 22 per cent of Americans now use tablets every day.
While most still prefer using iPad (which holds 52 per cent market share), the number of Android users is significantly rising too. Moreover, tablets are more often being used as shopping devices. This definitely is seen as a boon to the E-commerce sector. From a research done by Monetate in the first quarter of 2012, 6.52 per cent traffic to E-commerce sites come from tablet users.
Yes, all the above reports and research point to positive development of the Internet, especially the tablet market and ecommerce store. Unfortunately, while more and more Internet users are using tablets to browse for information and buy goods, retailers are not optimizing their websites to make them tablet-friendly.
What Makes Shopping through Tablets Difficult
According to a recent study conducted by ecommerce tool vendor Skava, only seven per cent of retailers optimize their website for tablets. This means that 93 per cent possibly assume that their desktop version or at best their smartphone versions will work well for tablets. They couldn’t have been more wrong as there are several issues that need to be addressed to make a website tablet compatible.
Websites are not optimized for switching between landscape and portrait modes, images displays are not clear enough, drop down menus are a hassle and links can get difficult to click. These are some of the frequently found problems that tablet users find while browsing through ecommerce websites. Each of these problems can affect Internet browsing habits largely, causing serious repercussions on the ecommerce industry.
It has to be understood that tablet users are affluent and will indulge more in online shopping. Moreover, a user spends more time with the tablet than with any other gadget. It has been noted by Skava that an average tablet shopper’s purchase is 153 per cent higher than that of a smartphone shopper. The average purchase equate to $123. Unless and until retailers pay attention to this grave issue of compatibility, they will surely lose a huge chunk of the market.
How to Optimize Ecommerce Sites for Tablets
The question that every retailer should ask after checking Skava’s revelation is whether things can be improved and whether they still have the time to do so. As the tablet usage trends show, the market is still growing and holds much more potential. Thus the retailers can still pull up their socks and optimize their sites for easier tablet viewing.
- Develop Responsive Designs: Essentially a tablet lets users view things vertically as well as horizontally which means that that a website needs to be responsive enough to fit in a landscape mode as well as a portrait mode. Retailers need to test their websites on various tablets with varying screen sizes, resolution etc. Testing will help them improve their website’s quality. Responsive websites mean better and enhanced user experience, thus more page views too.
- Do Away With the Fat Finger Syndrome: Our fingers are not similar to a mouse thus many times it becomes very difficult to click on links that are squeezed together. Even if the links are too small or too many, it becomes difficult to browse through the website. These things need to be taken care of while optimizing a website for tablets.
- Take Care of Drop Down Menus: Another problem area on tablets is drop down menus. It becomes difficult to hold on to drop down menus and navigate to various pages through them. It is thus important to lessen drop down menus and have direct links from the home page for easier browsing.
- Clear Product Images and Videos: It isn’t easy to zoom in and zoom out with hand gestures all the time thus the product images need to be clear. Since it is difficult to zoom, more pictures from various angles, at various zoom levels should be displayed. Moreover, videos too should be easy to view and shouldn’t be pixelated.
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