All I want for Christmas is Higher Conversion Rates: How to Create Amazing Tablet Experiences for your E-commerce Store

According to a report published by Monetate, visitors to e-commerce sites through tablet devices skyrocketed by over 346% in 2011. This should not be a surprise for anyone who has had the chance to play with one of these devices.  The lightweight, portable, and speedy design makes it a likely choice for checking emails or scouring Google. Research also shows that tablet users are more than just surfing—they are spending significantly more per purchase than both smartphone and traditional users.

With over 119 million tablets expected to be sold in 2012 and the Christmas holiday fast approaching, what does this mean for business owners? Optimize your websites for tablet experiences. 

Here are the top 5 things to think about when designing for tablet.

1. Minimize Content

Cat’s out of the bag; if you haven’t designed your site specifically for mobile or tablet, it is going to look sloppy. The zooming, scrolling and slow load times are not a good look for your business.

Not to worry—designing for mobile devices is a blessing for most businesses. Being confined to mobile and tablet screen sizes can be one of the best ways to focus customers on the information that is critical to conversion. Desktop websites often allow businesses to say too much, which ends up detracting from their conversion funnels. Optimizing content for mobile or tablet platforms requires business owners to consider what is truly important and helps to improve the flow of the information presented.

2. Fixed Navigation Buttons

Since Pinterest has exploded onto the scene, many e-commerce businesses have adopted its visually-oriented design and extended scroll experience for their own online catalogs. Successful execution of this design requires including fixed navigation for quick exploration of other sections. Time spent scrolling back through the same items means time wasted not viewing new ones. Another alternative to a fixed navigation is the “scroll to top” button, which allows users to jump to the top of the page at any point. Adding these to your designs will reduce frustrations, allow for easier navigation, and increase time spent on the site.

3. Chubby Friendly Buttons. 

As a victim of chubby fingers, I can attest to how difficult it is to navigate sites that do not have sizable buttons or links. Nothing is more frustrating than continuously clicking the wrong button because link text is too small or buttons are too close. Requiring users to zoom is not the answer. Make sure that your buttons are large enough for a touchscreen and incorporate enough padding around as to not interfere with surrounding elements.

4. Paypal Express Checkout Integration

The best thing about a tablet is that it has the mobility of a smartphone with the experience of a desktop. Often times though, this means that your tablet follows you where your pants and wallet don’t. Not having pants isn’t a problem when checking email, but it might be when you want to purchase something.

More often then not, situations like this lead to abandoned carts and lost revenue. Integrating paypal into your store allows users to make spur of the moment purchases when their credit card isn’t handy. Its extremely easy to integrate, requires only an additional button to your interface, and is preferred by 59.1% of visitors, according to ComScore.

Your new motto: No pants, no problem.

5. Gestural compatibility

As a touchscreen, the tablet and mobile interaction is inherently different than when using a mouse. Mouse events such as hover states do not exist, while new interactions like swiping and zooming have been created. Consider how this difference affects the way customers will engage with your content. Do your hover states display important information like price, discounts, or sharing icons?  If so, you may need to rethink your tablet design to include that information without interaction.

There you have it—the top 5 ways to maximize customer value from your tablet customers this holiday season.

Did we miss anything? Comment and let us know how you’ve increased your conversion rates.


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