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Tablets still lagging in terms of e-commerce experience

09 November 2011 - 10:52 by Mike Price

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People who own tablet computers such as the Apple iPad are apparently unhappy with the quality of the service they get when carrying out safe shopping online from their mobile device.

When compared with accessing e-commerce sites from a desktop computer, many of the 5,000 people who took part in a survey conducted by Foviance, said that they were up to a fifth less satisfied with their experience of shopping on tablets.

Analysts have said that the report essentially shows how consumers are now anticipating a consistent experience of safe shopping online, regardless of which platform they are using.

Multichannel retailers have had years to perfect the techniques necessary to make shopping from a desktop computer a streamlined, coherent experience, but it seems that this has yet to trickle down to the tablet market.

The problem seems to be that tablets occupy an odd space somewhere between smartphones and full laptops or desktop computers.

Mobile sites which feature remapped controls and simpler interfaces for the small, touch sensitive displays of smartphones, can look overly bland and limited on the larger seven to ten inch screens of tablets.

On the other hand, full desktop sites, which rely on the user having a mouse and physical keyboard to be used with ease, can confound tablet users because the menus and interfaces are often far too fiddly to manipulate comfortably on a touch screen device.

Retailers seem to need a middle ground solution which can take advantage of the power of tablets, without simply relying on the full desktop experience as a stop gap.

With Christmas fast approaching and tablet sales still growing, retailers will need to work hard in order to court consumers who want to shop on their portable devices, rather than their home PCs.