Why It’s Time to Take Advantage of Tablets

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

tablet-computerRegardless of the form of media they use, marketers have to be wary of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach when planning a marketing campaign. This is especially true of internet marketing. The internet is a far more vast and diverse landscape than any form of media that preceded it. And a lot of factors determine who sees a message and how they react to it. Just think about how much more the type of device matters for the internet than in other forms of media. With television and radio marketing, the type of radio and TV the user has is of little significance. In internet marketing, whether or not the user is viewing the website from a computer, smartphone, or tablet makes a huge difference on what they see and how they react. This is why websites should ensure their sites are tablet ready. Tablet use is on the rise and users act differently (a good kind of different) when using these kinds of devices.

There are nearly 100 million tablet users in the US and tablet usage is on the rise. Within two years, tablet ownership in America grew from just 8 percent of the population in May 2011 to 34 percent in May 2013, according to data from Pew Internet. Another company, eMarketer estimates that the number of mobile shoppers using tablets will reach 146 million by 2017, representing nearly seven out of 10 digital shoppers.

Further evidence that companies should expect to see tablet use increase is the projected sales. Tablet shipments are expected to grow by more than 60 percent this year while desktop and laptops are projected to decline by 10 percent. This is most likely the result of people deciding to buy tablets instead of replacing their current computers (so they have both). But studies have shown that people are more likely to do product research and online sales through tablets so businesses should modify their internet marketing strategy accordingly.

Depending on the industry of an organization, adopting a tablet strategy can result in dramatic increases in revenue.  A recent study from eMarkerter showed that ads from restaurants and food retailers performed well on tablet devices. In the study, 52 percent of women and 43 percent of men reported being likely to respond to food-related advertising on tablet devices. The same study reported that 40 percent of women and 29 percent of men were likely to respond to clothing advertising on tablets.

Being on a tablet does more than affect how people respond to advertising; it also correlates to how much they spend. According to a study from Mobify, tablet users spend 50% more than desktop users. In the current tablet market, this makes sense. Tablet owners have enough income to own a tablet and a PC (since a tablet alone can’t do all of the same functions). And though there are some cheaper models, a large percentage of tablet owners have expensive models from Apple or other companies. In practical terms, this means that tablets owners, as a group, are more likely to have disposable income and are more willing to spend it when compared to other target audiences. The research seems in line with this assumption. Nearly three out of four people who shop with their tablet will make a purchase, compared to the one out  of two smartphone shoppers who commit to a purchase.

When developing a tablet strategy, there are certain things business owners should keep in mind. If a company’s website isn’t optimized for tablet use, they risk losing potential customers quickly. According to a study from Mobify, 30 percent of mobile shoppers will abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile devices. As was discussed in a previous post, people expect their browsing experience to be fast, and this is even more true of tablet owners. The Mobify report stated that 70 percent of tablet users expect a site to load within two seconds. It’s worth it to get the professional help a business needs to ensure that a website delivers an enjoyable experience.

Organizations that aren’t prepared to engage consumers on mobile devices do so at their own risk. It is less a luxury than it is a necessity. According on report, 57 percent of users won’t recommend a business they felt it had a bad mobile site and 41 percent will turn to a competitor after a poor mobile experience. In other words, if you’re not taking care of tablets (or making the most of mobile), you may be driving your business into your competitor’s arms.

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