The (current) Apple of Our Eye


iPod, iPhone, iTouch, iPad…I get it.  For those of you who don’t get it, I apologize, but you have apparently been living under a rock for the past month.   As most print and online technology publications (as well as comedians for that matter) have been reporting, Apple has come out with its own tech savvy version of the netbook entitled the iPad, as mentioned in Business Week.   And in the midst of all this Steve Jobs hype, I have begun to ponder the effect that all these I’s could have on U.

These technological novelties can be both a blessing and a curse for an online retailer.   On the one hand, a netbook or iPad carrier on the go is able to instantaneously log onto your site and start shopping at the very realization of a product they need or want.  On the other hand, the tiny 10” size for which these devices are praised can also be the cause of abandonment from your site. 

Think about it.  During the process of online shopping, there is usually abundant navigation going on and a heavy reliance on clear product images.  Scrolling, mouse hunting, and arrow clicking, as well as miniscule images on a tiny screen does not present the most comfortable way to shop, causing shoppers to get frustrated with their search and leave.   You could be missing out on tremendous revenue potential!  So what does all this mean for you, the retailer?  

First off, make sure your search box is VISIBLE and easily located. 

Take a look at the  mock up of Amazon’s landing page below.  Here the search box is down, off to the left side of the screen, causing a shopper to have to scroll and work a little bit to get to it.

A mock up of Amazon landing page displaying an inefficiently located search box

Compare this to the actual Amazon site which displays a clear and visible search box at the top of their landing page…much better.

Actual Amazon landing page with clear, visible search box

However, if your search box is not functional, the fact that it is visible, is pointless.  A functional search box is important, but for netbook or iPad users, it’s crucial!   Your search should do all the navigating for the customer so he does not have to.  

Therefore, be sure that your search can effectively read complex queries from customers who opt to put in adjectives as part of their query, in addition to customers’ spelling mistakes and their use of synonyms to match your product listings.

And this is only the beginning of what could and should be done.  Perhaps with the boom of this tablet technology there is a need to create a separate version of your e-tail site to better serve the growing population of netbook and tablet carriers.  The different user interface could address the need for the varied positioning of other merchandising tools, customer reviews, advertisements.  Of course by the time we figure this out, Mr. Jobs might have us scratching our heads about a new technology innovation of his…


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2 Responses to “The (current) Apple of Our Eye”

  1. 1…2…3 = iPad « Celebros Says:

    […] It’s happening!!  As the New York Times has reported today, and as we suspected in a recent post of ours, the iPad has already begun influencing the creation of 3rd version online sites (2nd […]

  2. 4.9 Blog Carnival: SEO Buzz | Simple Web Toolbox Says:

    […] Rachel Judovits presents The (current) Apple of Our Eye posted at Celebros, saying, “This is a blog entry focuses on optimizing site-search and […]

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