While customers are becoming mobile, a lot of retailers still don’t have an iPad enabled website. Most retailers’ websites are meant to be used for browsing and not for purchasing.

Adding purchasing features to mobile apps makes retailers more competitive

As tablet usage among consumers rises, it is important for consumers to keep up with the mobility trend.Hawk Partners conducted a study among top Internet retailers, to analyze the shopping and buying experiences they provide for tablets, smartphones and Facebook. Research shows that less than one-third of retailers have modified their sites for tablets to enable shopping. For those that have optimized their sites for shopping, online retailers haven’t invested in the development of a separate iPad site, but are instead using their existing websites. Furthermore, for the one-third of retailers that do have shopping-enabled tablet websites, consumers usually experience technical glitches and slow loading times. As a result, consumers have a frustrating shopping experience due to having a harder time navigating the website.

Implementation Varies by Device

Though tablet adoption by retailers has been slow, 68% of retailers have developed smartphone applications that enable shopping. 59% have smartphone-specific sites, which are able to simplify the functionalities for a small screen. This is in part due to the fact that application sites have little dynamic content, which eases the purchasing process. Additionally, retailers use Facebook as a means for social browsing and sharing content; however, e-commerce most of the times isn't integrated into the Facebook platform.

Retailers Aren't Reaching Full Potential

Though 40% of retailers have iPad applications, 25% don't have purchasing capability. As a result, retailers aren't achieving their full potential. The overall brand experience isn't really optimized due to the newness of tablet adoption. As retailers start to look ahead to the2012 holiday season, those who realize that smartphones and tablets are purchasing tools and not just search tools will have a competitive advantage over other retailers. Retailers are recommended to create platforms to enhance the tablet and smartphone experiences, and to implement a cross-channel brand experience.

By Marcus Burke