by Alex Schmelkin, co-founder and president, Alexander Interactive
Tablet Commerce Takes Off
With the continued explosion of Apple’s iPad and other tablets in 2011, 2012 will see an expanded focus on tablet commerce. Retailers will learn the importance of optimizing their websites for tablet usage. Forrester predicts that tablet adoption will grow at a rate of 50% per year through 2015.
Businesses would be wise to scan their sites for tablet usability issues, and make sure they are prepared for optimal touch usage. Tips for optimizing a retail site for tablets can be found in Ai’s 2011 Tablet Commerce report.
In addition, Forrester predicts mobile commerce growing at CAGR 39% through 2016.
Small Sites Catch Up
To keep up with large online retailers in 2012, small businesses will be upping their game in the website design department. Attention will be given to creating a more exciting online shopping experience.
By leveraging some of the user experience enhancements now common on the larger sites, and by targeting customers with SEO, small businesses will aim to grab the attention of new customers and keep them coming back. The rapid expansion of small-business-focused ecommerce platforms (for example, Magento) that offer similar features to the largest enterprise packages will help to level the playing field for the expanding online merchant.
As tablet and smart phone usage will continue to climb, retailers will provide a more streamlined user-experience across all devices. In the new year, responsive web design techniques will become more and more key for small businesses, to make sure their customers have fully featured mobile, tablet and desktop experiences.
(Photo credit: Sony Singapore)
Alex Schmelkin is co-founder and president of Alexander Interactive (Ai) and has been helping companies build their business online since the advent of the Internet. He has created successful online initiatives for global brands including Citigroup, Pepperidge Farm, Kaplan, Continental Airlines, Steiner Sports, New Balance, FragranceNet.com and DonorsChoose.org. Before founding Ai, Alex co-founded Davanita Design, a New York-based digital agency which was later bought over by Avatar Technology.