Undoubtedly we are living in very technologically-advanced times. Just think about it; how would life be were it not for technology? One of the most important technological creations in today’s world is the internet, in fact life for most people would be pretty much impossible were it not for this worldwide network. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe transact business online on a daily basis with billions of dollars worth of products exchanging hands.
Over the past few years there has been a shift from PCs to mobile devices as the main platform for transacting business over the internet in what is referred to as mobile commerce. To fully understand the magnitude of this particular phenomenon, it might be a good idea to take a look at a few statistics. According to Google:
10 percent of all retail ecommerce money is spent through mobile devices (smart phones and tablets).
96 percent of people who use smart phones have carried out research on a particular product/service on their phones.
62 percent of people who shop on their smart phones make at least one purchase every month via the same.
It is also estimated that in 2013, mobile consumers will spend in excess of 14 billion dollars. If the current mobile uptake trend continues, the use of mobile devices to access the internet will overtake desktop internet usage. What all this simply means is that if your ecommerce website is not mobile friendly then you are definitely missing out big time. So the question is how do you optimize your site for mobile and consequently reap the benefits of mobile commerce? Here are some of the most effective ways.
You are obviously aware that one of the major differences between mobile devices and desktop computers is the screen size. PC screens can go to over 24 inches but mobile devices on the other hand never go beyond 10 — much smaller in most cases. Actually most smart phone screens are less than 5 inches in size. A responsive website is one which is able to detect the screen size of the device that is being used to access it and consequently make the necessary adjustments so as to fit all the content present. If your website is not responsive then the user experience will be nothing to write home about. If a mobile user feels frustrated because they can’t comfortably view your website; they are very likely to leave never to return.
User-Friendly Search box
Most people hate having to navigate through an entire ecommerce site in search of a particular product; needless to say, you must have a search box. When it comes to a mobile ecommerce website you have to ensure the search feature is easily accessible and visible. It should also be present in all your web pages and not just on the home page. Avoid putting this particular feature in “weird” locations for example at the center or bottom of the page. In this case it is important to stick with what is considered the norm i.e. put it somewhere at the top.
Feature phones are no longer a common sight as they used to be because most people in the developed world now own smart phones. It is common knowledge that most modern smart phones feature touch screens. It would therefore be a good idea to make use of tap-friendly buttons on your website as opposed to traditional links.
Quick Loading Pages
Most mobile shoppers are people who are on move; what this means is that they would like to get things over and done with, in as short a period of time as possible. You must therefore ensure that your mobile ecommerce site loads fast. Make sure that a shopper does not have to wait for more than 2-5 seconds to get a requested page. This can be achieved by reducing image size and client side processing on your website. It is important to note that if your mobile commerce website takes too long to load then shoppers will look elsewhere which of course will affect your sales.
Prioritize Popular Items
In every store, there are always those items that are more popular than others based on sales volume. Make sure that all such items are placed up front, i.e. where all shoppers visiting your website can easily access them without having to carry out a search. This will make life easy for most of your customers because they will be able to complete their transactions in minimal time. As a result you will achieve a high user-satisfaction rate, which of course is good for business.