Is Your Site Tablet-Optimized?

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Merchants that don’t want to be behind the competition optimize their websites for mobile, however, merchants that want to be ahead of the competition also optimize for tablets.

In fact, a recent study from multi-touch point retail technology provider Skava reveals that tablet shoppers are four times more likely to make an online purchase compared to those who shop on a smartphone. Moreover, the average order value (AOV) of a tablet purchase is $123 compared to $108 on a desktop.

That being said, the study also notes that only seven percent of the top 100 U.S. online retailers have optimized their websites for tablet devices. This means that merchants who put the time and resources into optimizing their sites for tablet devices, such as gifting retailer Harry & David, will surely be a step ahead of the competition.

“The number of customers accessing our website from tablets has grown exponentially in 2012 and a tablet shopper has a far higher conversion rate than a smartphone shopper - so we wanted to create a much more engaging and pleasing shopping experience for them,” said Sue Eagan, Director of Mobile and Tablet eCommerce, Harry & David. “Our tablet traffic has more than doubled over the last year and it continues to trends upwards. We want to create a visually rich, tablet optimized, seamless and engaging experience from start to checkout for our affluent tablet shoppers and Skava has been a terrific partner in helping us achieve these goals.”

Harry & David and Skava worked together to keep a consistent experience across platforms while also improving the overall website usability for tablet shoppers. The companies focused on building a tablet-optimized site that features better navigation and an easier checkout, as well as better leverages the high resolution capabilities for images on tablets.

“The vast majority of retailers are relying on their desktop website to serve as their tablet website and this can often become a frustrating experience for the tablet user who rely on fingers to navigate the site as opposed to a mouse,” said Dan Kowta, Creative Director at Skava. “Some frequent problems encountered by users are that certain links do not work, flash causes serious issues and checking-out can be a more difficult and time consuming experience. Tablet commerce is still in its infancy, but Harry & David is leading the way in creating an easy to use and more engaging tablet experience for their customers.”

Harry & David's Mobile Site:


Harry & David's Tablet Site:

Harry & David's Desktop Site:


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arudger 12-17-2012 12:04 PM

Great to see how Harry & David have improved the experience for their customers using smartphones and tablets! Not only are these sites good examples of usability, but also of performance. Customers expect fast and responsive sites, so its important to also keep performance in mind. This free tool can show you how your site performs on mobile devices--check it out:

Scott K 12-18-2012 1:33 AM

Allison, thanks for the great highlights about the importance of an easy UX for mobile users in the coming year. Curious: does your article intend to suggest that websites need to be optimized differently for smartphone versus tablets, or is the focus more on that fact that tablet users' purchasing habits are growing steadily?

It's my understanding that websites that are optimized for mobile users are, inherently, optimized for users of both tablets and smartphones.

Allison Howen 12-18-2012 8:49 AM

Hello Scott, the article is intended to highlight the difference between tablet and smartphone shoppers. Although tablet and smartphones are often put under the same “mobile” umbrella, studies have shown that the shopping habits amongst users greatly vary due to a variety of factors, most notably, the differences in screen size. This means that merchants should take a look at the data surrounding their tablet and smartphone customers, and then decide if their current mobile solution is sufficient for both types of shoppers. Just as developers often build apps specifically for a smartphone or tablet (because of usability issues and the amount of content you can fit on a screen), websites can also be built for specific devices.

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