My Customer

Retailers experiencing bad side effects from tablets

Companies may find it hard to swallow, but it’s been reported that tablets have a significant impact on the way shoppers perceive brands.

How a retailer’s website works on a tablet device is of growing importance to today’s consumers.  Over three quarters (77%) of online shoppers who’ve had a headache-inducing experience on a tablet are likely to entirely change their opinion of the etailer in question. Meanwhile, 67% of customers are less inclined to recommend a brand if its tablet site hasn’t gone down well.

The survey, carried out by Usablenet, found that today’s consumers have developed something of a tablet addiction, relying on them for carrying out everyday tasks such as making purchases and reading reviews. There also appears to be a trend for showrooming on tablets; two thirds of shoppers (66%) use theirs to research and compare products online before making their purchase, while a similar proportion (63%) check prices and access store information.

Interestingly, the findings showed that a negative experience on a tablet can still end up in a transaction, so long as the need for the purchase is there. However, the customer is likely to be left with a bitter taste in their mouth, which is enough to ensure they won’t ever be back. This makes it’s harder for brands to gauge what customers think of their tablet site; even if sales through this channel aren’t suffering now, that doesn’t mean it’s all smiles for the user.

So, what is it that tablet users want from a website? Almost a third (31%) wish for a similar experience to the one they’d get from a desktop device, but specifically adapted to the different screen size and capabilities of a tablet. It’s a little concerning then, that 10% of brands believe that speed and convenience are the sole priority for consumers when it comes to browsing sites on a tablet.  

Carin van Vuuren, CMO, Usablenet, commented: “These findings show that retailers cannot afford to neglect tablets as shopping devices. Consumers are increasingly using tablets to research and purchase, and they have certain expectations that brands will need to meet if they are to encourage repeat visits and recommendations.”

“Tablets – and particularly their generous screen size – hold great potential for retailers to connect with existing and potential customers. Brands should make sure they make the most of this.”

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