Friday, July 16th, 2010
A recent article on Advertising Age, “Brands bet on iPad to Expand eCommerce Reach“, discusses how eCommerce sites are looking to the iPad to provide more interactive and engaging product browsing experiences.
… while magazine reading and entertainment viewing are getting the early consumer buzz on the iPad, the real play for brands may be as an e-commerce platform. Commerce and on-the-go buying has been successful on the iPhone, but the small screen size and limited visuals have shortchanged many efforts. The iPad brings the capability for better graphics and video, a touch screen for an experience more akin to catalog shopping, social networking, an easier way to swipe or touch to buy, and even cost saving and green appeal with the use of less paper for weekly flyers and catalogs…
… The internet allows for great shopping tools to find the best prices or get reviews, but it’s missing the pizzazz — the reason why we want something in the first place,” said Brad Spirrison, managing editor of Appolicious. “With the iPad, now you can have great content combined with a great pathway to e-commerce all on one device. That’s a game-changer.
Why do retailers think they have to wait for the iPad to change their
approach to digital merchandising? Why do they think that the iPad is
the first device and opportunity to combine great content with eCommerce?
The iPad didn’t need to be a game-changer for eCommerce – it’s just a
touchscreen browser – but it makes people think differently about web design and experience, and all of the opportunities and design concepts that were available before the iPad (but which they rejected as “too edgy”) now seem acceptable. There is no reason why eCommerce web sites could not have been doing some of the things that people are doing with the iPad – the only difference is mobility – but why should mobile experiences be more engaging and content driven than a desktop (or laptop) web experience?
There is no reason why every digital shopping experience cannot be more rich and engaging, regardless of the device delivering the experience. Retailers and merchandisers have been stuck in old patterns and “traditional” ways of thinking about the web on the desktop, and the iPad is presenting an opportunity to “think different.” We should take this opportunity and run with it to create better digital shopping experiences for our customers, and in doing so we can also create great shopping experiences for any device or platform.