New report reveals true importance of tablet in the shopping experience


By Carin van Vuuren

A poor tablet shopping experience is likely to damage brand perception and reduce instances of customer recommendation, according to a white paper released by leaders in mobile and multichannel strategy, Usablenet.

The report, which surveyed both customers and retailers, revealed that more than three quarters of consumers say a dissatisfying shopping experience using a tablet would impact their opinion of a brand. Furthermore, 67 per cent of shoppers stated that it would make them reluctant to recommend the retailer to family and friends.

The way in which consumers are using tablet devices is also shaping the shopping experience. Almost half (46 per cent) of UK tablet owners use them most often at home while watching the television rather than using them when out and about – illuminating a crucial difference between tablets and smartphones and highlighting the importance of “second screening” as a trend. However, this aspect of tablet use may change as 4G networks and free Wi-Fi hotspots proliferate and encourage online browsing on the move.

Usablenet’s white paper also reveals why tablets should be high up on retailers’ priority lists for adapting to “showrooming” trends; two thirds of consumers use their tablets to research products online and a similar proportion (63 per cent) check prices and look up store information.

In fact, the report reveals that almost a third (31 per cent) of shoppers want tablet optimised sites to offer an experience that is similar to the desktop but adapted to a tablet’s screen and capabilities. It also emerges that shoppers draw a clear distinction between tablets and smartphones and want the experience on each to be tailored to that device, with one consumer complaining that they “hate having to pinch and zoom in all the time” when using their tablet.

These findings show that retailers cannot afford to neglect tablets as shopping devices. Consumers are increasingly using tablets to research and purchase, and they have certain expectations that brands will need to meet if they are to encourage repeat visits and recommendations.

Tablets – and particularly their generous screen size – hold great potential for retailers to connect with existing and potential customers. Brands should make sure they make the most of this.

You can view the full whitepaper – “Creating a Tablet-Specific User Experience: The Business Case” – by clicking on the following link:

About the author

Carin van Vuuren is CMO at Usablenet.

Usablenet is a global technology leader for mobile and multi-channel customer engagement. Usablenet’s powerful platform enables leading companies in all sectors to create compelling experiences for their customers across multiple channels, including mobile, tablet, social, and in-store kiosks. Usablenet customers include ASOS, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges,, Carphone Warehouse, Expedia, Travelodge and Champneys. Founded in 2000, Usablenet is a private company headquartered in New York City with offices in Los Angeles, Italy and London.

For more information, visit or on Twitter @Usablenet.

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