Mobile Website Abandonment

In Touch with Tablet Commerce

Generally regarded as the most important sense, touch is an essential component to living. From interpersonal relationships to skilled crafts, our sense of touch guides us. Appealing to this universal experience, consumer electronics companies began offering touchscreen devices, which have eventually evolved into the modern tablet.  As an increasing number of people adopt this tactile technology, tablet-users’ impact on e-commerce is beginning to turn heads. This post takes a look at the growth of the tablet segment, how it’s likely to affect e-commerce in the coming years, and what you can do to fight website abandonment and capitalize on this next step.

Mobile Website Abandonment

The Growth

There’s no denying the rampant growth in tablet popularity.  In 2011, over 60 billion tablets shipped to tech-hungry consumers worldwide. The next year, this figure doubled. The majority of projections agree that this growth isn’t slowing any time soon; analysts predict that nearly 400,000,000 of these devices will find their way to consumers’ hands in 2017.  Despite this impressive expansion, recent reports have unveiled something quite interesting about these high-tech devices.  Contrary to what many believe, the increase in tablet sales is not making headway in dethroning the reigning champion of home computing, the laptop. It seems as if the ultra-accessible nature of tablets nicely fill a niche left between desktop and laptop, acting as more of a complement than a substitute. Users want an intuitive browsing device that can be picked up and put down while relaxing on the couch–a tablet offers just that. So what does that mean for the website abandonment rate and the average order value on tablets? First, we need to look at the different types of tablets, and the people who use them.

The Market Share

Apple currently leads the industry with with a 48.2% marketshare in Q1 ’13 (Strategy Analytics). This figure is down from 63.1% in Q1 ’12 while Android tablets are steadily gaining marketshare, growing from 34.2% in Q1 ’12 to 43.4% in Q1 ’13.  Even as Apple’s lead in market share dissipates, their sales numbers continue to skyrocket alongside the growing demand. In March, Apple announced that is has 19.5 million iPads in the first quarter, an impressive figure for a company with only two models in the market.

The Users

So, people are now browsing the Internet on their tablet devices from the couch in their living room–what does this have to do with e-commerce and how does it affect the website abandonment rate? The number of people enjoying these tools isn’t nearly as important if you don’t know who uses them and how they do it. According to a collection of studies, the average tablet user maintains an average salary somewhere between 63,000 and 75,000 dollars per year.  In addition, over the last year, the device rose in popularity among those with six-figure salaries.

The wealth of tablet users is reflected in their spending habits; the typical tablet user spends an average of $123 per online transaction, which trumps both traditional and smartphone shoppers by 54% and 21% respectively. Not only are tablet users spending more money per purchase, they’re also purchasing with an exciting frequency.  Surveys show that tablet users convert on internet retail sites much more often than those using other mobile devices and nearly just as often as those using traditional means.  Boasting a 97.7% website abandonment rate in 2011, the tablet is undeniably a shopping device and marketers should be focused on mobile customer recovery.

The Strategies

As an online retailer, reading about a segment with explosive growth and a great conversion rate should leave you with one question, “how can I prepare my company for these potential customers?” Although there’s no foolproof method to attracting users to your site, you can be prepared for those browsing on tablets and take a few small measures that will reduce your mobile website abandonment.  The following tips will keep your site compliant, easy to use, and engaging for customers who feel their way to your front page.

  • Adaptive Content.  Ensure that your website is displaying properly for the device on which it’s being accessed.  Design your site’s layout to work well with the most popular devices’ resolution settings and place key images and messages in the most highly visible spaces, regardless of display size.  Although your design may work nicely for computer screens, you may need to cut corners to get the best results on tablets.  Clutter is the enemy here, so do your best to space things out.
  • Minimize Frustration. Tablets have done away with the precision of mouse clicks in favor of the ease and intuitiveness of finger taps.  Keep this in mind as you populate your storefront.  Avoid drop-down menus with many small, condensed text links as the user is likely to hit the wrong link accidentally. Make your text easy to read, clearly label your buttons, and use a smart search bar that clears any default text as soon as it’s engaged. High user frustration is sure to lead to high website abandonment rates–a flowing design is paramount.
  • Tablet Tech. These devices offer an entirely new way to browse the net; your company would do well to not only compensate for this new technology, but to embrace it.  For example, include product pages that allow for simple swiping to related items, alter your design to incorporate panoramic and portrait resolutions, and make touching your website fun and engaging.  Also, keep in mind the limitations of the devices–many of these devices do not support Adobe Flash, so stick to a sleek HTML back-end.

Fewer than one third of online retail sites currently have a design in place that is optimized for tablet interfaces. Act now and you can prepare your company for a profitable influx of tech-savvy, higher income shoppers. To learn more about creating an effective mobile website abandonment solution that’s highly effective across all devices, click here to consult with an expert at UpSellit.


Written by Joe Rosenthal

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