Study: Online retailers aren't ready for tablets

Feb. 17, 2012

Fewer than one-third of retailers have optimized sites for tablet commerce, according to a report, "Mobile & Tablet e-Commerce: Is anyone really ready?" by Zmags, a provider of rich media mobile and social merchandising.

Zmags commissioned HawkPartners, a marketing consulting and research firm, to assess the mobile and tablet offerings of the Top 100 Internet retailers, who were evaluated on the shopping and purchasing experiences they provided across tablets (iPad), smartphones (iPhone and Android) and Facebook, according to a company press release.

The study found that most are relying on their standard websites to provide an adequate enough tablet shopping experience.

"What we discovered, unexpectedly, was that very few retailers—even among this elite group of marketers—are tapping into the full shopping potential of mobile and tablet devices. In fact, not even close to it," W. Sean Ford, COO and CMO of Zmags, said in the release. "Only one quarter of retailers are ready to take a consumer through checkout over tablets, but 49 percent of today's tablet owners said they plan to shop even more next year using their device.

"This reflects a serious disconnect between how consumers want to shop and the inconsistent experiences they are being offered. It's a crucial issue that retailers need to address before their competitors do."

Other key findings include:

  • More than half of retailers have developed smartphone-specific offerings to provide key functionality for the smaller screen.
  • While more than two-thirds of the retailers have developed iPhone apps, only half of that group offers the ability to purchase via the app.
  • All 100 retailers have Facebook brand pages, but only one (Coldwater Creek) lets consumers directly purchase from the Facebook page.
  • The research identified three retailers (Gilt Groupe, Disney and Urban Outfitters) as having the strongest and most robust mobile offerings across most devices and channels.
  • Only 19 of the top 100 retailers extended beyond ordinary HTML-type content to include more engaging material such as look books, catalogs, editorial picks, etc. However, none of them extended the dynamic environment or optimized the brand experience across the full range of smartphones, tablets and Facebook.

All results are based on the research conducted over a four week period in November and December 2011.

Read more about multi-channel retailing.

Topics: Customer Experience , Interactive / Touchscreen , Mobile , Retail , Self-Checkout

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