iPads, e-commerce and ShopSite
Apple just reported it has sold over 3 million iPads in 80 days! That certainly makes it another hit product for Apple. Like many of my employees, I was skeptical about how successful the iPad would become. Nevertheless, as we are an e-commerce provider, I purchased one – strictly for research purposes, of course! I had to see how our shopping cart and web pages functioned on that platform.
I’m happy to say that ShopSite worked wonderfully.
After testing compatibility between the iPad and our software, I took it home to play with it and give the whole package a proper shakedown. To my surprise, I discovered that I liked the iPad. Oh, it has some restrictions that bother me – I hate that it can’t play Flash! It works great for checking Facebook, viewing personal e-mails, playing some games, and reading ebooks. In fact, I use the Amazon Kindle app on the iPad for reading books instead of my actual Kindle! The touchscreen on the iPad is so much easier to work with than the Kindle’s buttons.
Online shopping on the iPad is quite similar to shopping from your desktop or laptop computer and much easier than from a mobile phone. The iPad boots up right away so when you think of something you want to order it is faster than using a home computer.
As far as work-related applications go, I can see it being useful for business trips, but the virtual keyboard is too cumbersome for me to do much more than cursory typing. I did get the external keyboard with the hope of using the iPad at work, but so far, I find that I don’t like using it for business. Still, it is great for entertainment and social media and I can easily see it as an additional method for shoppers to use to buy products.
3 Million and growing is a lot but it is still a small percentage of web browsers. To see what percentage of iPad users have visited your site, ShopSite Manager and Pro merchants can use the Google Analytics integration. For visitors to ShopSite.Com iPad users only represent 0.24%. Of course, we are a business destination and not a consumer store so your percentage will likely be higher.
For more information on tweaks you can make to ensure your store works for iPad users read How do e-commerce websites work on the iPad?