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49pc of tablet shoppers dissatisfied with shopping experiences

By
May 31, 2013

While tablet owners are shopping more than ever on their devices, many are still frustrated with the experiences currently available, according to new data from TheFind.

The survey found that 37 percent of tablet owners say they are using their devices more to shop now than they were 12 months ago. However, 49 percent say their biggest complaint is that retailers’ Web sites and applications are not optimized for tablets.

“Shopping usage and traffic from tablets is growing exceedingly fast, and the way consumers are using them is poised to have a significant impact on holiday sales and all online commerce moving forward,” said Usher Lieberman, director of communications at TheFind, Mountain View, CA.

“This fast building momentum is happening largely in the absence of a great tablet shopping experience,” he said. “Retailer apps are for the most part unused by a majority of these tablet owners and the browser experience is substandard compared to PCs because of the smaller screen and soft keyboard.

“The big news is that there is a fast growing opportunity for a horizontal shopping experience that disrupts the traditional browser-based search business model to become a daily habit for millions of tablet using shoppers.”

Touch-first design
With tablets expected to outsell PCs by 2017, according to a recent forecast from Gartner, it is more important than ever that retailers offer tablet-optimized shopping experiences.

This means an emphasis on touch-first design and a shift away from browser-based search, which is where most online shopping experiences begin today.

Gilt’s iPad app.

The survey reveals the criteria that tablet owners feel are most important when deciding whether or not to make a purchase on their tablets.

Online retailer TheFind conducted the survey of 2,060 U.S. adults in March and found that 572 were tablet owners.

The most popular reason, named by 40 percent of respondents, for why the tablet is not the preferred device for shopping online is that retailers’ apps and sites do not offer the same experience as their standard Web sites.

Optimzing checkout
Another 35 percent said the checkout process is not optimized on tablets devices while 29 percent said the product pictures are too small.

Only 28 percent said they were worried about entering payment information on their tablets.

The report also found that 48 percent of tablet shoppers first go to a retailer’s Web site when browsing compared to 12 percent who first go to a shopping app.


The Toys R Us iPad app

Additionally, 68 percent of tablet owners would be interested in using a shopping app on their tablets.

Other findings from the survey include that 87 percent use their tablets to browse for products online and 71 percent purchase products on their tablets, with 41 percent making a purchase at least once a month and 12 percent doing so more than once a week.

Transaction disruptors
TheFind also reports that it is seeing significant growth in tablet traffic, with iPad traffic on TheFind.com having increased 250 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and increasing by more than 30 percent between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

To address how tablet users are shopping, TheFind will launch an iPad app in June that will provide an app-based shopping search experience built with the touch screen in mind so that users can easily search and browse for products.

“At the most basic level, retailers need to make their Web checkout process ‘fat-finger’ friendly for the growing base of tablet users,” Mr. Lieberman said.

“They need to rethink the flow, what information is presented to users, and solve the little things which disrupt the transactions like poor keyboard layouts, overactive auto-corrections, or even upsells and cross-sells which make the page harder to navigate on the tablet screen,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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