Disregarding the Mobile Revolution: Why Aren't Retailers Optimizing Their Sites for Tablets?

A new study reveals that just 7% of retailer websites have been optimized to run on tablets.

E-commerce tool vendor Skava surveyed the top retail websites in North America and discovered that most retail companies wrongly assume their desktop websites will render sufficiently well on tablets. Skava found that websites were either not optimized to switch between landscape and portrait modes, could not display images correctly, or that the text was too small. Other complaints included poorly functioning drop down buttons and links that were difficult to click on.

Retailers aren't ignoring mobile entirely, though: 95% of top retail e-commerce websites are optimized for smartphones, according to The Impact of Tablet for Retailers 2012 report. But this actually makes no sense: the same study indicated that tablet shoppers are four times more likely to buy good online than those with smartphones (2.3% for tablet versus 0.6% for the smartphone). They also spend more money.

Fortunately, the study suggests retailers will finally get on board with tablets next year.

“Online retailers have recently seen a large increase in tablet traffic and they are beginning to stand up and take notice,” said Arish Ali, co-founder and president of Skava. “We are set to launch a number of tablet optimized sites for several leading retailers in the coming weeks and we anticipate that in 2013 many more will follow the trend.”

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