Tablet Users are Looking for the Physical World Experience

The shopping habit of the tablet user is one that should mimic the real world shopping experience. Consumers now want to feel as if they are browsing down the aisle of a brick and mortar store while using their tablet device, which is exactly why speakers at the eTail West conference say responsive design has never been more essential.

According to Justin Stayrook, vice president technical services with Siteworx, if any retailers are still unsure of the power the tablet holds, they should look to a recent Siteworx survey which found that nearly 19% of tablet owners made purchases during the 2012 holiday season compared to 13% of smartphone owners.

While tablet owners are expected be the next big spenders, only 7% of retailers have a tablet friendly site, according to Stayrook. Translation: You could be missing the boat if your site is not tablet ready.

Retailers need to create tablet sites now and when doing so they need to think about creating a “physical world” experience, according to Josh Himwich, vice president product with Refinery 29. Shopping online for tablet users is not something that is just a click and read experience like what is found on a laptop or PC.

Instead, Himwich said, retailers need to understand the mentality of tablet user. It’s not just about shopping, it’s about entertainment, consumers want to feel like they can touch and feel the products they are looking at.

Himwich recommends placing large graphics and product photos on your tablet site but in a way that makes them interactive. Let the consumer be able to zoom in and out, let them be able to see customer reviews and actually interact with the site.

If you’re looking for a quick fix while creating your tablet ready site, Himwich recommends that retailers change their ecommerce page button size to 44px, which is the minimum touchable area on your site that would avoid the “fat finger” dilemma currently affecting so many non-mobile or non-tablet sites.

According to Himwich, if you do this simple change “within two weeks” you will improve sales results from tablet users.

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