There’s a tiny cash register in your pocket. It’s called a smart phone. And it’s changing the way we shop. If your business sells anything online, you must gear up for mobile commerce, or what we call ‘m commerce.’
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There’s a tiny cash register in your pocket. It’s called a smart phone. And it’s changing the way we shop.
If your business sells anything online, you must gear up for mobile commerce, or what we call ‘m commerce.’
● 29% of mobile users have already used a phone to make a purchase (source: BI Intelligence).
● 12% of eCommerce in 4Q 2012 were made via smart phone or tablet (source: ComScore)
● There will be 500M mobile shoppers worldwide by 2016 (source: yStatus)
● Expect triple digit growth rates in mcommerce thru 2016. (source: yStatus)
● In 2013 Asia Pacific ecommerce sales will overtake North America ecommerce sales with over a third of globel ecommerce sales from AsiaPacific (source: yStatus)Mobile commerce is big and getting bigger. Just take a look at the numbers:
● Men in U.S. are 20% more likely than women to use mobile to make a purchase (source: Kantar Media).
● 43% of tablet computer users spend more time on their tablets than their computers (source: Google)
● 33% of tablet computer users spend more time on their tablets than watching TV (source: Google)
● Tablet users are early adopters who typically spend more money, book more trips, and consume more media content (source: Adobe)
The bottom line is your ecommerce site MUST support mcommerce.
So what can you do? Well, your ‘old’ website probably doesn’t fit well on smaller screens. Sure, you can ‘see’ the site on your smart phone or tablet, but you can’t shop easily. For example, the text may be too small to read. And the navigational features, like hover buttons and drop down menus, won’t be intuitive for mobile users who move through sites by tapping and sliding.
Moreover, your ‘old’ site is most likely too heavy for mobile. It may load too slowly on mobile. Mobile shoppers prefer speedy pages and beautiful, tactile images and graphics.
One quick workaround is to create sub-domains for your website, something like ‘m.yourdomain.com.’ Basically, you would make different templates for different screen sizes. When a shopper visits your site on a smart phone, your site will automatically serve the template for smart phones. Similarly, your site will show the template for tablets when someone accesses the site via a tablet.
The problem with this method is maintenance. Every time you make a change to the ‘desktop’ site, you must then make the same change to all the other templates. It becomes too labor intensive.
The smart way is to replace your ‘old’ site with a responsive design. Responsive websites automatically adjust to the user's screen size. In this case, you have one site that rearranges itself for an optimal shopping experience.
To see a live example of responsive Hawaii website design, go to UnitedPixelWorkers.com. If you are on a desktop or laptop, take your cursor and make the window smaller. Notice how the site automatically rearranges itself? That’s responsive design.
I recommend Magento (magentocommerce.com) for most ecommerce sites. You can buy responsive themes here: templatemonster.com/magentothemes.php.
When shopping for themes, just concentrate on the ‘flow’ or layout of the design. All other design elements, like colors, pictures, graphics and text, can be easily customized.
JAMES KERR, Founder and Chief GeekofSuperGeeks. Mr. Kerr's tech tips help businesses improve efficiencies and boost sales. Learn how your company can leverage search engine marketing. Visit at www.SuperGeeks.Biz.