The use of tablets and mobile computing devices has risen tremendously in just a short time. Gartner Inc. reported earlier this year that more than 118 million tablets will be sold in 2012.
Recent reports indicate that Gartner Inc. and other market authorities have been close to target. Based on current projections, tablet owners are expected to account for a third of the world’s Internet users by 2015.
The Mobile Future of Internet Sales
Due to the rising popularity of tablets and mobile computing, e-commerce sites are quickly realizing the need to appeal to mobile users. In addition to the increasing use of these devices, research shows that tablet users make application purchases more often than other mobile device owners.
This makes it quite clear that tablet owners are an ideal consumer target for Internet retailers. Mobile devices are expected to become the primary way many people access the Internet as early as 2014.
Attracting the interest and business of these users will be crucial to the future success of all e-commerce sales. If you haven’t already started a marketing plan for tablets, now is a good time to start. There are tactics that will help you keep pace with this quickly rising market and prevent your e-commerce site from being left in the dust.
Building A Touch Friendly Site For Mobile Users
If you expect to get purchases from tablet devices, you must provide a mobile friendly website alternative for your visitors. This is easier to accomplish than you might expect. Mobile compatibility doesn’t require any changes to your existing website design.
Some types of e-commerce systems will have software add-ons available that automatically convert your existing site for mobile friendly viewing. This method detects mobile browsers and reformats your content and images to be displayed properly on smaller touchscreen devices.
A software solution may not be practical depending on the particular website configuration. Manually building a mobile optimized website will be more time consuming, but can yield better results overall. The more responsive your site and easier it is to navigate, the more likely tablet users will stay long enough to make a purchase.
Whether you choose to use software formatting or manually design your mobile site, you will want to provide a sub domain that points to your mobile content. Using m.yourdomain.com has become the standard for naming mobile website content.
A Tablet Targeted Marketing Plan
Once your mobile site is in place, you can begin your tablet targeted marketing campaign. If you have no idea where to start, there are numerous ways your site can gain the attention of tablet owners.
1. Provide exclusive media content on your website for tablet users. Something as simple as a tablet wallpaper collection can draw mobile visitors very easily.
2. Reach out to tablet users via social media. Finding a particular community of users is quite simple on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Use these social outlets to network with tablet users and promote your products or services.
3. Use Search Engine Optimization practices to produce content related to tablets, tablet users and tablet applications. Be sure to keep articles or blog posts relevant to your site’s focus, but maintain connections to tablet related areas of interest with informational value.
4. Announce the mobile support capabilities of your site. Using social media, press releases and your site’s newsletter, publicly announce that your site is optimized and designed for tablet viewing.
The Future Success of Your E-Commerce Website
As tablet use continues to rise, site owners will have to follow suit accordingly. Site design, media content and information catered to tablet and mobile users will become a standard practice. While full websites for PC browsers offer more capabilities and features, mobile compatible content will determine the future sales of many Internet retailers.
Shopping from personal home computers isn’t going anywhere soon, but changes are coming. Tablet focused marketing and support might be a luxury now, but it will soon become a necessity.
Will Vicary writes for a number of businesses such as Aon Hewitt on topics such as pension de-risking and fiduciary management. Any opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the businesses Will writes for.