Does it really come as a surprise that eCommerce purchases on tablets is outpacing smartphones? No, probably not. Though they share the same mobility and ease of use as smartphones, tablets are a natural fit for online browsing with larger screens and better displays that mimic the catalog experience but add much richer functionality. Going a step further, tablets are also starting to gain traction in home computing.

Many eCommerce sites are faced with the challenge of providing the best user experience based on the type of device their customers are visiting from. Smartphones require pages that are optimized for quick loading times on small screens, and links that are easily clickable for large fingers. Tablets, being larger in size, are just made to be used for browsing and shopping.

Tablets offer a catalog experience, amplified – a richer experience offering interactive displays with video, specifications and reviews, social sharing features and non-traditional page layouts, and still also have the opportunity to lead buyers to checkout. For example Boden’s outfit maker feature allows an outfit to be tried on using a tablet before being purchased, and is an engaging way to show clothes in an interactive way.

Boden's outfit maker

Other sites have interesting layouts that feature larger images or easy ways to navigate through to find products. It’s always important to keep in mind that shoppers using tablets don’t have a keyboard and mouse to help speed the browsing process. Designing the experience so it’s easy to find products with a few taps on a screen will please your customers and may inspire them to return to your site.

Practical Ecommerce just featured 15 excellent iPad-friendly sites, which you shouldn’t miss.

We believe we’ll start to see more tablet-optimized sites coming soon. Tablets – iPads specifically – took the lead in mobile holiday shopping in 2012, and offer an ideal platform to facilitate browsing, exploration and ultimately purchases.

Do you shop using a tablet? What features do you like most?