Are You Ready for Mobile Commerce?

There are plenty of stats proving the importance and necessity of mobile commerce to online retailers. But for those who haven’t as yet jumped onto the bandwagon, the question remains: isn’t your business ready for mobile commerce?

More often than not it is. However, uncertainty, starting troubles or teething problems may trammel businesses from fully embracing this medium. Instead of fearing it, take the bull by its horn and figure out what needs to be done and how, and then do it!

  • Responsive Design

    Mobiles devices – smartphones or tablets – have much smaller screens than desktops or laptops. So your website must be able to adapt to the any screen size without distorting or losing information. It is quite a miserable experience to have to open a website and scroll up or down and sideways to gather information or even to just browse. That will immediately send customers scuttling off. But a flexible grid, readable layout, adapted resolutions, and image and font resizing will let them continue with what they came looking for. All this can be done on a good hosted platform with responsive design. So no matter what device they use, they benefit from optimal viewing.

    Now the benefits are adaptive screens, a single code developed across devices, flexibility in use, and a better page ranking since it will be viewed on mobiles as well as desktops. However, you can take it a step further and invest in a mobile app. A native mobile app means making use of the entire medium of mobile. Instead of trying to make the slipper fit, you make a new slipper that fits. Mobile apps make use of the device’s features instead of adapting desktop features on a mobile device. So apart from having content design created specifically for the tiny screen, the interactions and CTAs will be tailored to mobile usage, and the app can make use of physical phone features like the camera, GPS, mike etc.

  • Optimisation

    It doesn’t matter whether you content is exceptionally clever or your products are marvellous. If a customer finds it difficult navigating through your space on the website or app, they will drop off without a backward glance. So after optimizing the content for smaller screen sizes, make sure the content being displayed is absolutely relevant and CTAs are placed in positions that are ready for the leads. Are you mobile e-mail campaigns and text messaging strategized for better mobile ranking?

    Declutter and streamline. Chop off any useless adornments keeping only the bare essential minimum. For instance, make your menus drop-down o have an icon at the top right corner of the page. Reduce the amount of content on a single page. Avoid large images and offer the zoom option if you believe a larger image is necessary. Don’t use pop-ups anywhere! Reduce the page loading time. (Apps have the upper hand because they load immediately, while websites take a few pregnant seconds that can lose you 40% of your browsers). Ensure the overall design and layout are adjusted for visibility and readability but big enough for comfortable fingertip clicks. Keep sign-ins/ups and registrations to the barest minimum and absolutely simple. While mobile accounts for the largest footfall for online retailers, the sales conversions are a little lower than tabs. Make the check-out process straightforward, quick and without suspicious elements or you will lose those sales, too.

  • Final Touch-ups

    Use mobile as a tool and weapon. Utilise its functions and features to make sure you are offering your clients the best mobile and online experience they can ask for. This means you need to anticipate their needs before they realise it themselves. Offer filters to make browsing easy and categorical so users spend those many minutes without squinting. Offer easy registrations but let usage also be easy for guest-browsers. They shouldn’t feel forced to sign-up. Instate confidence and trust in them so they don’t shy away from making online payments. Let them know it will be done through secure, vetted payment gateways. Even if a customer is saving their card details, they need to feel safe about data/information confidentiality. Offer different payment methods to give them the choice of whatever is convenient for them.

    And once all this is done, spread the word! Social media, ads, campaigns…whatever. Get the word out and spreading to drive traffic to your site. Use the website to move customers along to the mobile-optimised or app version and get them hooked!

Just remember these two important points:

  • Mobile users are people on the go – busy with a million other thins and snatching moments in the day to use their mobile devices to shop.
  • Mobile accounts for over half the percentage of footfall received than other devices.

So you aren’t going to waste an opportunity when a brass ring comes to your door. Be prepared. When you keep the customer at the focus of your mobile operations you will find that you begin catering to and fine tuning your mobile presence to suit their needs. And when a customer is happy, they will linger on to potentially convert into a lead – either directly on their mobile device or indirectly via a desktop or a physical purchase.

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