Online retail – or “e-commerce” – offers consumers the ability to shop across the world wide web from the comfort of their own homes. Within moments, customers can peruse dozens of e-commerce sites to compare prices and offers to find what best suits their needs.
The advent of mobile technologies has also empowered consumers to shop on the go. In fact, eMarketer projects mobile commerce could make up almost three-quarters of e-commerce sales by 2021.
Then again, there is one technology that is a little tougher to pin down primarily because it lands somewhere between mobile and at-home technologies – i.e. tablets. While this group might be smaller than desktop and mobile audiences, tablet usage is expected to continue its rapid adoption. Statista estimates more than half of the American population will use tablets by the end of 2019.
Tablet Users Take Their Time
Tablet computers are a bit of a chimera; at least in the way they are used. Tablet users tend to spend more time on web pages, news articles, and apps than mobile users. The reason for this might be obvious – the screens are bigger and thus better for more time surfing the web, playing games, or reading long-form articles.
In that same vein, tablet usage is focused around late afternoons and evenings when compared to desktop or laptop usage. This makes a lot of sense when you mull it over. Laptop and desktop computers are associated with work in a lot of people’s minds. On the other hand, tablets are generally used for personal enjoyment – so it only makes sense they’d be used later in the day.
The takeaway is tablet shoppers enjoy spending more time online, especially in the evening. If you want to drive purchases from this consumer group, match these behaviors with your advertising and marketing practices. Send marketing emails after 6 p.m. with hot deals, new products, and links to your latest on-page blog posts.
Tablet Users Love Big, Beautiful Images
As an operator of an e-commerce website, you need to consider how your site renders on tablets. They have a larger screen than smartphones, which means you can employ big, beautiful images to keep users engaged. However, high-quality images can bog down your website, leading to slow load speeds and higher bounce rates. The solution is compressing images and videos to alleviate stress on your e-commerce platform.
The same goes for your website’s visual design. Double-check your background images, buttons and written content to ensure they render just as well on tablets as other devices
Tablet Users Expect Usability
Tablet users also expect usability from e-commerce sites. Occasionally, sites that play well with desktop and mobile traffic drop the ball when it comes to tablets. This includes missing buttons, broken lines of text, poorly featured navigation bars, hidden search bars or checkout buttons, excessive whitespace or margins, and generally unreadable screens. This distances an entire group of users, which is not a good look for any e-seller.
Fortunately, e-commerce website builders like Shopify take tablet users into account when developing their platforms. In other words, the site builders offer the same usability, security and payment processing features to tablets and smartphones users as they do desktop users.
If, on the other hand, you built your website yourself, you’ll need to troubleshoot any tablet-related issues on your own. In these cases, it’s best to research possible fixes or hire a web designer who can assist you.
Tablet Users Are Sometimes Window Shoppers
One reason e-commerce vendors ignore tablet users is that they tend to be window shoppers. They might visit your site for an hour, scroll through dozens of pages, and click off without adding anything to a cart. From a seller’s point of view, this is understandably frustrating.
But don’t let appearances fool you; something else is going on here. Yes, tablet users might be window shoppers but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They might simply be perusing your products to figure out what they would like to purchase later via desktop. This behavior is mirrored in smartphones.
Some folks prefer to enter their mailing addresses and payment details on desktop, even if they started their shopping experiences elsewhere. Remember to be accommodating of tablet user behaviors, which finalize in sales.
In conclusion, tablet shoppers like to take their time; they enjoy beautiful websites and images, and expect a certain level of usability. To win tablet customers, follow the tips above.