Tuesday, 14 August 2012

How to maximise your mobile commerce potential

If you have read any of my previous posts or any other digital marketing blogs in the last few months, you have found that mobile commerce is the next big thing when it comes to online selling. You've looked through all the information, how the this trend will increase and how it can help your business and have now decided that it is time your online store invests resources into developing a mobile platform.

Now that you know mobile commerce is right for your online ecommerce store (read: The future of ecommerce selling and customer engagement if you are still unsure) the next step is to see how you can maximise your efforts on this platform to ensure the best possible results. 

When creating a website for a mobile platform, you need to bear in mind that less is more. A mobile phone screen is substantially smaller than a computer screen, meaning that what you don't want to have is a website that is chocked full of text. All this is going to do is make your mobile site look very unappealing. The key to mobile store success, comes in the ease of use. If you have an online store that allows customers to purchase items, you need to build a mobile store that enables customers to select and purchase the product in the quickest time possible. 

To truly maximise your mobile store and make it an appealing platform for your customers, you should look to do away with the traditional login process where the customer must first make an account to purchase an item. What this means is that you should have a process whereby the customer will select the item they want, enter their mobile number, credit card and delivery address before pressing the purchase button to complete the transaction. This information can then be stored within their mobile phone's browser cookies so that if the customer visits your store in the future to purchase again, all of their details will already be saved, making the process even quicker next time round. As people tend to visit stores on their mobiles when they are on the move, you do not want to ask your customers to tick boxes or confirm different terms and conditions before the process can be completed. Like I said at the start of this post, less is more and ease is everything.

While you want your mobile store to look inviting to visiting customers, you need to always be thinking about the constraints of mobile bandwidth in comparison to an Internet connection. Although there are now a  number of hotspots all over the country, allowing users to connect their mobile phones to the Internet when out and about, mobile phones which are not connected to the Internet will have substantially slower page loading times. What this means is that if your website is rather large in terms of the data it has, it could take a while for the user to actually load up and view your site. A slow loading time negates the whole purpose of a mobile store, damaging your conversion rate rather than helping it. With over 59% of mobile users expecting a web page to load in under three seconds, a slow loading web page is only going to annoy the user and probably result in them being frustrated and leaving the page.

Creating a mobile commerce store is very much a balancing act. While it must have less information than it's website counterpart, you must ensure that the design of your mobile store is exactly the same as your online store. The look of your website is one of the many parts that make up your business's brand. Having a online store and a mobile store that both look different is going to confuse the customer and not give them that instant recognition that it is your store as soon as they land on it. 

While all of these different factors are important to creating a successful mobile store, you must always remember that above everything else, ease of use is the crucial factor which will determine your mobile platform's success. You could have the best looking m-commerce site that loads in seconds, but if the site is difficult for customers to use on their phones, making the checkout process arduous, all that money and time you have spent developing your mobile platform will be for nothing.

eSellution: www.eSellution.co.uk

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