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Welcome to 2013, the year of the snake in the Chinese calendar and the year of the tablet virtually everywhere. Some experts predict that tablet web traffic will outpace smartphone traffic this year, and by 2015, there will be almost 100 million iPad users alone. This has helped create a new and growing market – t-commerce, also called “couch commerce.” Do you have a strong couch commerce strategy to get those leisure-time buyers in your sales funnel?

Here’s the power of the couch consumer: he/she is more likely to make buying purchases. You’re in your sweats and comfy slippers, you’re relaxed, you’re watching your favorite show (online). Conditions are perfect for both these larger purchases, as well as for incidental buying. “Oh, I just saw an ad on Hulu for X. I’m going to check it out.” Retailers can capitalise on this by creating a site that is tablet-friendly. In many ways, this is like a mobile-friendly site, and you want to pay attention to:

  • Design. Make sure you have a clean, uncluttered interface that is logically setup and easy to navigate. Hover-over menus and that sort of thing.
  • Fast page load times. Couch buyers may be relaxed but they still won’t wait around for a slow page!
  • Streamlined sign-in processes and a guest option at checkout.
  • Convenient payment options.
  • Trust seals prominently displayed.
  • Clear, accurate photos and short, concise descriptions of products.
  • Adaptable layout (switches from landscape to portrait views depending on how the user is holding the tablet).
  • Compatible with multiple devices, browsers, etc.
  • Integration with your other platforms; for instance, a user can start the purchase process on a computer and seamlessly transition to a tablet.

The biggest key is to choose the right design platform: would a responsive site work for you? A desktop-tablet hybrid? A tablet only, or an optimised desktop site? Each has its pros and cons (which you can learn more about here).

Tablet users are shopping; while conversion rates are a bit lower than with traditional access (but much, much higher than mobile), purchase amounts tend to be higher than traditional access purchases. The top categories are:

  1. Clothing.
  2. Music.
  3. Toys.
  4. Books.
  5. Electronics.

If you are an e-commerce merchant, it is time to become a t-commerce merchant as well. Is your audience browsing via a tablet? Very likely. Accommodate them, and they’ll reward you!

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