Multichannel

Tablet Retailing: Why Content Matters

Barkers magalogue2

With tablet retailing on the rise, creating a content-rich experience for these mobile devices is more important than ever. James Gilbert explains why.

The prolificacy of iPads and tablets as a household item is creating significant opportunities for multichannel retailers and their online offerings. The iPad alone accounts for 68% of mobile shoppers accessing retail websites, and 90% of all mobile revenue. These iPad shoppers appear to be more engaged with site content, visiting more pages on a site, and checking out with higher order values, which presents a valuable growth area for online retailers.

Barkers (www.barkersonline.co.nz) uses Solutionists’ magalogue to translate its print magazine 1972 into online sales using interactive hotspots.

The higher engagement levels that iPad users seem to have are being utilised by major fashion sites such as Shopbop and Barkers with the creation of digital content. Look books have been kicked up a level with online magazines and editorial content being delivered in a format optimised for tablet use.

Having high quality editorial content on your site can drive sales, repeat visits, and keep your product offering looking fresh. It gives customers a reason to purchase your product over a competitor’s, and is a powerful merchandising tool. Consumer power has shifted somewhat with the ability to purchase from retailers worldwide. Customers are demanding transparency from their favourite brands, and are getting it through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and live chat. Delivering digital editorial content aids in this customer demand, by painting a stronger brand picture and delivering a more defined brand personality. An Econsultancy report has shown that 54.4% of UK consumers, and 45% of US consumers, have used a catalogue before making a purchase in the last year – with Australia and New Zealand consumer behaviour trending closely behind their larger counterparts, optimising catalogue or look book content for online is a strategy that Australian retailers will be savvy to investigate.

The real opportunity in this online editorial content is the ability to deliver an interactive shopping experience by linking content to product or merchandising landing pages. As a retailer, you need to be shopping around for an online magazine tool that is optimised for use on iPads (read: NOT flash based) and tablets, that gives you the ability to drive sales from the pages. Customer should be able to use a tablets’ touch screen functionality to scroll through your online catalogue pages, and click on parts of the image to be directed to specific product pages. Retailers such as Net-a-Porter have proven how well the catalogue can translate onto a tablet device, with their magazine app. Their magazine offers a content-rich experience, blending articles, style guides and collated looks that all offer an interactive experience by linking specific items or looks back to product and landing pages on the site, and allowing customers to add items to their wish list.

Creating a digital version of your in store catalogue also can deliver unique opportunity in terms of pre-sale. In many cases items in your catalogue will not have dropped in store yet – add hotspots to these products that allow customers to register for notification when the item arrives, or reserve an item with a down payment.

With iPad and tablet shoppers dominating the mobile market, it is important that you are taking the time to engage ad convert this lucrative segment, with their higher-than-average dollar spend. Identifying online opportunities and capitalising on them early is how your site will take lead over your competitors, and become a regular website go-to for customers. The longer visitors are spending on your site, the more likely they are to eventually make a transaction as they are becoming more engaged with your products and involved with your brand and webstore. It is not often that a brand experience overlaps into sales, so push both sides of your marketing strategy by creating online specific content and delivering it to your customers via a medium that is proving to convert customers.

James Gilbert

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James Gilbert has worked extensively within the ecommerce industry across the whole of his career – beginning as a graduate in a development role for a Pure Play fashion retailer, he soon diverged to set up his own ecommerce development company, Solutionists, with three other partners - Tony Schollum, Anne Gilbert and Frank Gilbert. Solutionists has since become one of Australasia’s leading ecommerce companies, delivering world class online solutions to some of fashions biggest names. Today, James’ largest focus within the business is delivering ecommerce optimisation strategies and consultancy on new projects.

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