By Rieva Lesonsky
It’s no secret that moms are major decision makers when it comes to household purchases. And if you know any moms, you know how much they rely on smartphones to stay connected, whether at the office, at home or on the go with the family. Now the advent of tablets is changing the game even more by giving moms a new way to access information and shop wherever they are.
Over the holidays, tablet computer ownership surged, with many of them given as gifts. Pew Internet and American Life data shows nearly 20 percent of Americans now own tablet or ereader devices. And a Nielsen study late last year found almost half (43 percent) of tablet owners are female.
The Kindle Fire and the latest iteration of Barnes & Noble’s Nook are also changing the game because they compete more directly with the top-selling tablet, the iPad, and are heavily marketed to women.
Tablet users are desirable customers: Many studies have found tablet users spend more time browsing online, are more likely to buy online and spend more when they do buy than smartphone users. Simply put, the tablet shopping experience is a lot more enjoyable than shopping on a tiny phone.
So what do you need to do to grab tablet-toting moms’ business? First, make sure your business website is optimized for tablet use. This means focusing on visuals, so be sure you have outstanding photos of your products. Think of tablet shopping like a digital catalog. The phrase “couch shopping” has been coined to reflect where most tablet use takes place—while relaxing at home—so your tablet experience should be fun, easy to use and engaging.
Of course, moms aren’t mindlessly flipping the pages of your digital catalog. They’re hunting for information and bargains, so be sure your tablet shopping experience is packed with product details, including reviews and comparisons to help Mom make the right decision.
While research so far seems to indicate tablet shoppers prefer browsers to apps, you shouldn’t discount apps altogether. If you can create an app to make shopping more fun, faster or simpler, do so. Also keep in mind that many moms share tablets with kids or use them to keep the kids entertained. If relevant to your business, an app targeting kids (such as the ability to create a “wish list” that Mom can access later) could be a great marketing tool.
Take the time to explore how tablets can help you reach moms, and your business will reap the benefits.
Image by Flickr user anurag adrihoti (Creative Commons)