Why Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore Tablet Users

Businesses are starting to pay attention to tablet users. And so they should. According to a recent study by Forrester Research and Shop.org, tablet users tend to place bigger online orders than laptop or desktop users. This and similar findings present marketers with both the benefits of taking advantage of this opportunity and the challenge of figuring out how to do so.

Profile of a Tablet User

In general, tablet users represent a demographic that is very attractive to marketers of consumer products. Think about it, who usually owns and uses a tablet? Educated, affluent, luxury-product buying consumers. According to a Pew Research Center study, more than half of tablet users have graduated from college, compared with 28% of all US adults. On top of that, tablet users are nearly twice as likely compared with all US adults to have a family income of over $75,000+ per year.

Image from Journalism.org

So tablet users are demographically an attractive segment, but what are they doing on their tablets? What frame of mind are these consumers in while using their tablets? What do they use them for? Here’s a hint: when you add on the behavioral tendencies of tablet users, this segment is even more compelling.

Most tablet owners use these devices to browse during their leisure time. They’re not using them at work, when they are busy, preoccupied and less likely to purchase. Rather, they use their tablets in the evening, while sitting on the couch or in bed, while travelling or with the TV on in the background. Gartner reported that 87% of tablet owners use them in the the living room, 65% in the bedroom and 47% in the kitchen. This behavioral profile is essentially the equivalent of a Saturday afternoon mall shopper — someone who is browsing, discovering, and can be easily convinced to make a purchase.

In other words, targeting tablet users is not only filtering out a demographically attractive segment, but also catching these consumers when they are in the right frame of mind to purchase or convert.

Now, put the demographic and behavioral attractiveness of this segment together, and any marketer can easily understand why you cannot afford to ignore tablet users visiting your website. So what should you be doing?

Optimizing for Tablet Users

Let’s start with the obvious: Test your website on tablets. Make sure everything is working. Make sure everything is clear. That precious, limited real estate you have on your website is even more limited on a tablet. That means you need to highlight the important components and cut down on clutter. Your calls to action should be obvious, your products should be at the forefront and your value proposition should be concise.

Next, dig into your analytics to see how tablet visitors are using your website. The user experience of a tablet is very different from that of a desktop or laptop. This affects everything from your homepage to your checkout process. Analyzing this data will give you deeper insight into the behavioral profiles of your tablet visitors.

A good place to start is by checking your top referrers for tablet visitors. Since people use their tablets quite differently than their desktops and laptops, they also tend to visit different types of websites and search for different types of things. Understanding how these tablet visitors found your website will give you insight into what they are looking for and how you can meet their needs.

For example, you may find that tablet visitors tend to land on your website mostly from backlinks in articles, while desktop and laptop visitors tend to land on your website mostly from search engines. This makes sense since tablet users tend to be in browsing mode, while computer users may be more likely to search for specific items. Use this information to highlight your relevant offerings for each segment or perhaps offer each a targeted promotion.

Look at your funnels for the tablet visitor segment. Is there a large drop off at a certain step in your checkout process? Perhaps there is too much typing involved at that step, which is inconvenient for someone using a tablet touch screen keyboard. Make sure that your checkout (or conversion) process is especially simplified for tablet users by minimizing the number of steps and amount of required typing. You may also want to consider allowing tablet visitors to checkout using a service like PayPal where they have already stored their payment information. Similarly, if your conversion goal is to get visitors to sign up, allow them to use a social media profile to do so by enabling Facebook Connect or a similar service.

Ultimately, the best experience a company can deliver to its tablet visitors is a native app that has in-depth optimization for touch and other features that are difficult to implement on a website. Consumers are generally more likely to make a purchase via a native app that has an optimized shopping experience rather than via a website. Yet, even if you do offer an app, many consumers will still browse your website on their tablet (especially new customers), and as a marketer, it is your responsibility to make sure they have a seamless and relevant experience.

Personalizing Effectively

If you want to gain the most out of these efforts, you will need to go down to the individual level. The above demographic and behavioral generalizations for tablet visitors are a great starting point, however, in order to create truly relevant experiences, marketers need to factor in multiple data points rather than assume every individual in a generalized segment is the same.

Here is a simplified example: The experience you deliver to a tablet visitor who has never been to your website will be quite different from the experience you deliver to a tablet visitor who is a long-time customer. You will likely highlight the “best sellers” to your new customer and the “new” items to your loyal customer. Yet, since both are accessing your website from a tablet, you will want to make sure they both see a simplified, concise website with a streamlined PayPal checkout process.

Approaching personalization with this holistic strategy that is built upon both demographic and behavioral data is what separates an OK customer experience from a truly relevant one.

How Can I Do This With Woopra?

Out of the box, Woopra tracks details of each website visitor (where they came from, what they do on your website etc) and automatically creates a “Visitor Profile” for each one. With some very easy integration, you can also include any additional customer data you have to create a single, 360 view of each customer. For example, you can integrate account information for each visitor (i.e. if the visitor has registered or filled a form on your website) and enhanced demographic data into each Visitor Profile. Once you have combined all of your customer data sources in one place, you will have an accurate and full picture of each customer. Now, you are ready to segment and personalize effectively.

To get started quickly, you may want to begin by simply filtering out tablet visitors. In Woopra’s last update, we added a “Device Type” report that will filter your visitors into mobile, tablet and desktop categories. This filter does not require any integrations – it works out of the box. You can use this filter to easily segment tablet users in any of Woopra’s analytics reports, including Funnels as described in the example above.

You can also use Woopra’s Automations feature to trigger an event whenever a tablet visitor lands on your website. For example, if you have created a separate site optimized for tablet users, you can easily use Automations to redirect all tablet visitors to the optimized site.

Lastly, if you have built native apps for mobile and tablet, you can also use Woopra to track and analyze the users of your application. For more information on getting started with this, please contact us.

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