Tablet Apps and Ecommerce


If you have designed mobile apps that build your e-commerce website brand, you probably feel like you are on top of your game. True, apps are a great way to promote your website and also to bring in traffic, but there is a new player on the scene: tablet computers.

In many cases, the apps that you have designed for smaller mobile devices such as smartphones will work equally well on tablets. However, there are a few considerations that may make you want to create special tablet apps. Here are a few of those considerations:

  • Larger screens. Tablets have larger screens, which means that the scale of your existing apps may be wrong for them. Also, the screen size of smaller mobile devices is often a limiting factor when creating apps. Creating special editions for tablets means that you have more flexibility in the design and also that you can add new features and functions. Why pass up that opportunity? In many cases, a few changes are all it takes to turn a mobile app into one specifically created for tablets.
  • The cool factor. Tablets are useful, for sure, but they are also the cool new device to own. People are curious about them and more likely to ask about them. This means that an app that runs well and is attractive on a tablet will get seen by more people. A recent Nielsen study found that people are less likely to use their tablet than their smartphone when interacting in social situations. They are simply more conspicuous and visible (and therefore ruder to pull out). However, this study did not address the phenomenon of sharing information on mobile devices. We are willing to bet that, while you might be more willing to pull out a smartphone to text a friend or surf the net at a moment of boredom, you are probably more likely to incorporate a tablet into that same social situation by showing off a new app or function. In other words, smartphones might be used more in public, but tablets are used more socially.
  • The green-eyed monster. Because people are more likely to see and interact with the apps on a friend’s tablet, you need to design apps that have more punch. What would make a person say to themselves, ‘I need that app’? The apps that promote your e-commerce website need to be not just worthy of sharing, but objects of envy as well.
  • Shared ownership. Unlike a mobile phone, a tablet may be used by several different people on a regular basis, even an entire household. This brings up new security issues. Most apps are designed with minimal security features because it is assumed that a smartphone has but one user. You may want to give users the option to protect their account or their settings with a password. After all, you don’t want for a husband to accidentally find out about his surprise birthday gift or for a child to order half of your inventory without their parents’ permission.

Sometimes form begets function, and this is certainly the case with tablet apps. Make sure your ecommerce website apps are tablet friendly and make the most of this promising new medium.