Increased Purchases from Shoppers using Tablets

A recent Wall Street Journal article indicates that shoppers using tablets like the iPad spend more than those using personal computers or smartphones.  Not only do they buy more often, but they also spend more per order (up to 10%-20% more!)  That’s great news for online merchants.

Unlike the modifications needed for smartphones, most websites do not need any changes made in order to look good on a tablet.  There is, however, one website modification that I would suggest to better cater to iPad users: Get rid of Flash.  Since the iPad is the current market leader for tablets, and it does not support Adobe’s Flash, I would not use any Flash on my web site.  Flash is typically used for video clips, animation, and those annoying animated splash pages (which I also do not recommend using!)

The other good news in the article is that most shoppers prefer to use the tablet’s browser.  The need to download a special shopping app to use for surfing catalogs, even specialized apps for big brand name sites, is unpopular with shoppers; they’d rather just use their tablet’s web browser.  That’s another good finding for small merchants that don’t have the time, resources, and/or money to develop special shopping apps.

Even though you typically do not need to modify your web site for tablet users (aside from the aforementioned Flash), I would still recommend checking your store on an iPad.  That way you can verify that it looks and functions as intended on the iPad.  Check that there is adequate spacing between the links or buttons that a user will have to tap.  And then in November, when the Kindle Fire comes out with its Silk browser, I recommend that you do the same thing with it.  The Kindle will have a smaller screen (7 inches vs. the iPad’s 9.7 inches), but with Amazon’s aggressive pricing ($199) and marketing power behind it, I expect the Kindle Fire to be very popular.  In fact, some of my friends have already pre-ordered it.


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