Mobile E-Commerce Sites How To Make Yours More Friendly
There was a time when e-commerce sites were considered to be a passing fad, nothing to be taken too seriously. Now, the retailers who were first in line with these websites are the ones reaping great financial rewards. The same is happening now with mobile commerce sites. Smartphones are dominating the mobile digital landscape and transforming the way people search for information. Now is the time to make sure that your website is as easy to use on mobile devices as it is on desktops.
The number of people who did their shopping on a mobile website increased threefold between 2008 and 2009. Sales numbers reached $1.2 billion. This number is projected to multiply by ten to almost $120 billion by 2015. When it comes to mobile commerce, the future has arrived. You need to take steps to get your website in the mix so that it is easy to find and use.
There are several ways to get your mobile website up and running. One is by using a conversion utility to make a mobile friendly version of your current website. You could also use one of the many mobile site-building tools. Google Sites has several easy to use mobile templates, and a new tool called GoMo to help you analyze your current site in mobile form. You could also choose to work with a website developer who has experience designing mobile sites. Whichever avenue you choose, the critical design elements are the same.
- Simple Navigation and Easy To Read Layout - The largest obvious difference between PCs and mobile devices, especially smartphones, is the size of the screen. The LARGE display screen on smartphones like the Motorola Droid X is still only 4.3 inches. With so little display space, every inch matters. This is most true on the home page, which must include easy-to-navigate links to the rest of your pages. The best designed mobile homepages look like the table of contents for a book with a minimum amount of graphics apart from the company logo. Large fonts, even though space is limited, are easier to read on hand held devices. Navigation should be extremely simple with minimal sub-paged to keep visitors from getting lost.
- Provide Secure And Easy Mobile Checkout - Many mobile e-commerce transactions are completed in public. People are very wary of entering credit card information into a mobile shopping cart, especially if it might be seen by identity thieves. Use a professionally designed mobile checkout service to store your customers data so they dont have to re-enter the information into your shopping cart and risk it getting stolen.
- Dont Abuse Your Customers Bandwidth - Some users with limited plans are very judicious about the amount of bandwidth they use. Avoiding streaming videos and using minimal animated features is a good way to minimize the use of your customers bandwidth. Many people have taken to lower bandwidth plans to make owning a smartphone more affordable. Those users wont appreciate it if your site actually costs them money to visit.
- Link Your Site To Other Resources - If you want customers to go to a physical location, link to a mobile mapping service like MapQuest or Google Maps. Check-ins is also an effective marketing tool for your site. Foursquare, Yelp, and other location-based networking sites allow people to tell their friends that they are at your location by checking in. You can help increase traffic to your locations by rewarding people who check in with specials and discounts.
Mobile shopping is the future of e-commerce, and that future is not far away. Online businesses are already seeing a huge upsurge in mobile shopping. Because it is so popular, there are many tools available to get your businesss mobile site up and running.