While this seems to be like a no-brainer topic, it’s quite baffling on how many eCommerce sites are not mobile/tablet friendly. In this blog, let’s rehash this topic and why now, more than ever, it’s imperative for online businesses to have a mobile presence.
Rewind to June 2007 – the revolutionary iPhone, the first smartphone of its kind, was released to the world. It was to be the catalyst and the game-changer the world needed for technological advancement. It brought not only a complete and thorough revamp to the mobile phone industry; it also, literally, allowed its user to access the world from his or her fingertips.
How has this revolutionary invention changed the way our minds, habits and preferences work? Consumers now have the entire Internet in their pockets, making your online business virtually accessible from any part of the world and to any consumer. The use of laptops still dominates the market, of course, but we can see that slowly but surely, people are accessing websites and businesses via mobile devices, i.e phones and tablets. The growth has been exponential all around the world, particularly in Japan and the USA, where consumer attention has grown 525% more in 2012 than in 2011.
So, what does that mean for online businesses not only pertaining to retail websites? A good mobile site can be great for business. More than half of consumers (51%) say they’re more likely to purchase from a good, mobile-friendly site, and 85% of mobile users will increase their engagement with that business (Luth Research, 2010; Gomez, 2011). The extensive use of mobile devices only means one thing: a sure way to gain exposure for your company’s website is through refining mobile-friendly access. Creating a good mobile impression not only ensures the effectiveness of sending your message through your website, but also draws your consumers’ attention and engages them online for as long as possible. So, what makes a website mobile-friendly?
Mobile-friendly sites are purposely made for the small screen and aren’t just shrunken down versions of your regular website. Navigational keys, font and displays differ across multiple devices, so ensure that your website works just as effectively on a laptop as on mobile. The most common technique used is to create a Responsive Design (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design) there are a number of web development companies that can assist with this now. The other option is to have a separate mobile site, on these cases, setup is relatively easy and can be more cost-effective, and a separate mobile site can be good for small businesses with more basic site needs.
Simplicity is key. Good mobile sites are quick, simple to navigate, easy to read, have large buttons, and prioritize key information. For the layout, be touch-friendly and avoid too-small targets and the click mistakes that result – it is the surest and fastest way to turn off a mobile user. Another thing to avoid are descriptive buttons. Don’t complicate your website by making customers guess where a click will take them. Label your buttons clearly, use breadcrumbs and clear category names to help them navigate through your website. They will appreciate the comprehensibility.
Mobile-optimized sites take advantage of the natural capabilities of mobile phones. Features like click-to-call, maps, and location information are perfect for mobile, and are common best practices for mobile-friendly sites. These features help connect customers directly to your business and drive more calls and traffic to your store.
The use of mobile devices to access websites is clearly gaining traction in today’s world. More and more people are embracing the culture of “showrooming” (Will leave that for another post) and it is up to you (you, yes you) to give them what they want. By making your mobile website engaging and catered to your audience, consumer growth will follow. Don’t be apprehensive of taking your standard website mobile – not many people have the time to sit down in front of their computers and read what you have to offer. Give them accessibility; engage them on the go. Take it mobile.
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Online Market Experts are here to help you achieve online success by saving you time, connecting your business with practical outcomes and help you avoid theorists. We are not a sales company pushing a product or range – we serve as a collective of industry experts focused on improving the eCommerce and the digital landscape, offering independent consulting to businesses of all sizes in eCommerce. We learn about your specific needs and goals before presenting recommendations and strategy outlines for you.