September 28, 2012, 10:32 AM

Online catalogers should prepare for an uptick in holiday tablet shoppers

A mobile forum speaker will share tips on targeting the tablet consumer.

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In the 2011 holiday shopping season, 10% of traffic on average to retailer clients of digital catalog platform provider Zmags came from mobile devices, says business development manager Daren Tomey. This year, that number should double, with a healthy chunk coming from tablet shoppers.

“Last year, our customers’ digital holiday catalogs and gift guides saw 10% of the traffic coming from mobile devices—both smartphones and tablets,” he says. “So far in 2012, we’ve seen up to 20% of Zmags traffic from mobile devices on any given week and, for some customers, this number is as high as 50%.”

Retailers can learn more about how to market to the tablet shopper at Internet Retailer’s Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum 2012 in San Diego in October in a session entitled “What retailers and marketers need to know about the iPad.” 

In the session, Tomey will discuss the results of a new holiday shopping survey of tablet users. Last year’s survey showed that virtually all tablet owners (87%) said they planned to use their tablet to shop for the holiday season. Plus, 53% of them planned to make a purchase on their tablets at least weekly. Tomey expects those numbers to be higher this year.

However, tablet users will likely be browsing multiple retailer sites, so merchants need to capture and hold the attention of shoppers and increase engagement, he says. He suggests tactics such as incorporating video or music in their sites or adding quizzes and other interactive elements like pop-out text boxes.

Internet Retailer editors asked Tomey to speak because of his experience at Zmags, which develops interactive web catalogs, online magazines and other products for online merchants. Prior to Zmags, Tomey was senior vice president of corporate development for Slingshot SEO, a search engine optimization consulting firm.

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