Newsflash: The iPad is revolutionizing mobile shopping. OK, so that may not seem like news as we’ve known that tablets are driving new shifts in consumer and business behavior that change the way marketers must connect with their audiences. Now, new research shows that tablet users are a whole new category.
New data from The 2012 Q1 Shopping Insights™ Mobile Study shows that…
- iPad users now account for about two-thirds (68%) of mobile shoppers.
- The iPad drives a whopping 90% of all mobile revenue (and 4% of total retail revenue).
- Conversion rates were strongest with the iPad (1.5% for iPad vs. 0.57% for other mobile devices).
- Compared with all other mobile devices, average pages per session were highest for the iPad, at nearly six pages per session (5.7 for iPads vs. 3.6 for iPhone vs. 4.1 for other mobile devices).
- The iPad had the highest average order value (AOV) of any mobile device: $158 for iPad vs. $105 for other mobile devices vs. $104 for iPhone and other iOS devices in March 2012.
- AOV for iPad shopping is creeping ahead of the AOV from desktop computers ($158 for iPad vs. $153 from desktops).
1. Make the Tablet Experience Enjoyable
Anyone who has used one knows: The iPad is a fun and immersive experience. Touch the screen—and an entire world of media and information is at your fingertips. It’s almost as though you’re invited to play with each piece of content.
How can your brand stand out in this format? What will make your app—and yes, if you’re going to compete in tablet computing, you have to have an app—compelling and engaging? What unique aspect of your product or service can you leverage in app form, and how can that translate into effective marketing?
For inspiration, take a look at Gap’s 1969 jeans app—an innovative way of interacting with the Gap brand.
Not only can consumers check out the company’s product lines, mix and match outfits, share via social media channels, find a store via a geo-locator, get designer tips and exclusive content, but they can also purchase directly from their mobile device.
Simplicity is one of the linchpins to the tablet computing experience. Tablet computers (and especially the iPad) aren’t designed for the dormant hacker that some folks argue resides in all of us. Tablets are designed for everyone. (They’re so simple a three-year old can use one, remember?) Your messaging needs to be just as user-friendly.
In other words, don’t make information difficult to find… and don’t just sell. Instead, make the layout appealing to touch, and make the presentation relevant, convenient, and engaging. If you do, you’ll make the most of the tablet format, and you’ll make the most of consumers’ ever-more-precious time. As the variety of digital channels continues to expand, your customers are finding themselves bombarded with brand messages. Can you blame them for running low on patience for content that seems too complicated? Keep it simple. Focus on images or video (rather than text), provide clear calls to action, include direct links to any actions, etc.
3. Encourage Purchasing
With its easy-to-use interface, the iPad is a prime tool to encourage online browsing, and so it’s no surprise that a recommendation engine can yield big benefits in this context. (Think of other recommendation engines you know, such as those in use by Amazon, Netflix, or Pandora.)
Recommendations fall into four broad categories.
- Personalized recommendations—based on the user’s past behavior
- Social recommendations—based on the past behavior of similar users
- Item recommendations—based on the product or service itself
- A combination of the three approaches above
Recommendations give customers a gentle nudge towards a purchase they may not have considered. They’re the sweet spot between online browsing and searching, and when coupled with an intuitive app and the ease of tablet computing, recommendations can boost sales.
4. Integrate Messaging
Tablets empower consumers with digital communication that’s available 24/7 at the touch of a finger. That makes tablets a great format to integrate your apps, company website, videos, social media channels—virtually everything. Variability can erode the value of your product or service, so hone in on the messaging that works and use it consistently across all channels (whether traditional or digital). Also, capitalize on the tablet as a force multiplier by making certain your content can be easily shared via social networks.
5. Aim for Weekend and Evening Appeal
In addition to the findings outlined above, The RichRelevance study also found that iPads “rule the weekend.” According to the survey results…
- The iPad share of shopping sessions (viewing, not necessarily buying) increases on the weekends, reaching 7% on weekends vs. 5% during the week.
- The iPad’s share of sessions climbs in the evening hours, from around 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., reaching 9.45% at 9 p.m., rising from a low point (.4%) at 3 a.m.
- In comparison, traffic from all other mobile devices is stable on weekdays and weekends, accounting for about 1.3% of all sessions.
- On average, about 6% of all orders originate on mobile devices (iPad included) on weekends vs. 4% on weekdays.
For marketers, all that means that we can leverage an engaging, relevant app to appeal to the customer who wants to kick back with their tablet and relax on weekends and after hours. An iPad is a fun, easy-to-use digital device–but it’s not a laptop or at all similar to the computers we all use at our jobs. Tablets are devices consumers want to use, not ones they necessarily have to use. Tablets are more versatile than smartphones and, let’s be honest—-they’re just plain cool. Design your tablet content to appeal to consumers when they’re ready to have some fun.
New research is making it clear that marketers can no longer think of mobile as one big group containing both smartphones and tablets. Tablets are emerging as a separate category, one that needs to be recognized for its wide consumer appeal and unique marketing potential.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Teenage Woman With Tablet Computer)