The importance of tablets became undeniable in 2013. In March, Abobe reported that tablet users view 70 percent more web pages than smartphone users. And at the end of the year, according to IBM, tablet shoppers spent an average of $118.09 per order versus $104.72 for smartphone shoppers. Small business owners can not afford to ignore the tablet market due to its ever-growing size and the amount of money that tablet users spend buying things online. Tablet computers are capable of loading just about any website; but just because a site can viewed on a tablet doesn’t mean that the viewing experience is enjoyable for the visitor. Here are four things that business owners can do to make their site more tablet compatible.
It is important for business owners to ensure that their site is viewable to everyone who visits. This is why a responsive website is essential for modern businesses. It is counterproductive to have a site that looks great on desktops but is unusable for mobile users. Having a site that recognizes the type of device a visitor is using lets each visitor see the version that’s best for them. When using a responsive design, check the site on all types of devices to ensure all design elements work. Remove problematic elements that don’t work properly. On tablets, consider abandoning elements like hover, since they can be unpredictable at times on a touch environment. Also, remember that while tablets are powerful computers, they are at times connected to slower mobile internet speeds. Research has shown that people will abandon a page on mobile devices if it takes longer than a __ seconds to load. Keep tablet pages small so they load quickly regardless of the connection speed.
Retailers who want to see their sales from tablets increase need to do everything they can to make the site easier for customers to use. Allowing customers to save their payment information so they can check out quickly encourages people to come back to the site to use the faster checkout process. The flip side is that a speedy checkout must have trustworthy payment protocols. A recent study from Javelin Strategies and Research offers some guidance. The 2013 study found that 43 percent of consumers prefer to use a mobile wallet by their respective financial institutions. But after that, PayPal was the second most popular choice with 34 percent of respondents and has the highest gains in consumer perceptions over the past year. Other options include MasterCard MasterPass which was the preferred choice of 25 percent and Google Wallet, which was selected by 24 percent.
Remove Autocapitalize and AutoCorrect From Forms
There are times when features that are normally helpful work against users. This is especially the case when trying to use mobile devices like tablets for form entries. Trying to enter information like usernames, passwords, addresses, etc. can be extremely annoying for users if the autocapitalize and autocorrect features are active. It is very easy to turn off the autocorrect feature for forms and doing so will make it easier for consumers to use a tablet-compatible site. Alternatively, consider using auto populating data from Google Services or others to make the process even faster.
Design with Appearance and Ease of Use In Mind
A final thing website owners can quickly do to improve the tablet experience of their visitors is to optimize the design so it’s easy to see and use. Make sure that the text is large enough to be easily read. Visitors shouldn’t need to use the zoom feature to read the body text. Mobify recommends at a 16px font and a 1.6em line height. Similarly, buttons need to be large enough that people can easily hit the button they want to hit on the first try. Buttons that are too small or too close together make for a very frustrating experience for users. Try making buttons that are at least 44px by 44px large. Be sure to use padding rather than a margin between buttons to prevent accidental clicks.
It was estimated that there were 221 million tablets sold in 2013. Business owners cannot ignore that kind of market share. Improving the tablet-compatibility of a website is important and there are a lot of simple and quick things that business owners can do to make the experience better. Take the time to get your site ready for tablets or get the help you need so someone can to do it for you. There is too much money flowing through these devices for business owners to let it slip away due to clumsy web design.