Christmas 2013 showcased the power of online retail, fuelled by mobile. As more consumers spend time – and money – on tablets in particular, Sam Scott explores why the platform should be front of mind for retail marketers.
Key strategies for tablet commerce in 2014As consumers are increasingly shopping across devices and channels prior to purchase, creating a seamless multichannel retail experience has become a top priority for m-commerce strategists. IBM Tealeaf's Bill Loller suggests that in 2014 retailers should be investing in optimised tablet sites in order to drive sales. "Retailers should be rolling out tablet sites so as the shopper switches device they have the context of where they were, which makes the buying experience easier.""All consumers care about is accessing the best experience," says MEC digital strategist Matt Bell, adding that "brands need to build it right with a ‘build once, deploy many’ mentality”.However with 4G connectivity around the corner more people will be using their tablets on the go, making location greater a factor in providing relevant communications. "Remember the need for convenience in user journeys and messaging – the right person, right device, right time, right message," says Bell. This point is echoed by Millennial Media’s Zac Pinkham, in relation to advertising, who explains: "If advertisers can identify specific behaviours that are relevant to their brand, such as location, demographic or context, they can create a campaign that is uniquely designed to leverage this."Context means that that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for tablet communications, he says, adding: "There is, however, tremendous opportunity ranging from mobile video, to full screen rich media gamification units, to campaigns that are designed to create a cross-screen experience, to name but a few."The research in tablet usage seems to agree that the platform is being used as a 'lean back' device, with peak usage occurring during the evening hours. "Because of the increased time consumers spend on their tablets vs other devices, long-form ads like video can be extremely effective," adds Pinkham.This article was first published as part of a mobile focus sponsored by Millennial Media in The Drum's latest issue (22 January), which is available for purchase here.