Statistics from eMarketer reveal that mobile e-commerce would reach the 31 billion USD mark in US alone and would surpass 119 billion USD globally, by 2015. Come to think of it, the new set of data and stats released are only a reiteration of what we already knew: the internet is going to be mobile and there would be no looking back from there.
Mobile devices — smart phones and tablets — are not for professionals only anymore. Seniors, teens, suburban moms — you name it and they have it. With more and more people turning to their mobile devices to look for products and services online, having mobile optimized websites is an absolute must-have for e-commerce companies who want to stay in the game.
So how do you optimize your e-commerce website for mobile?
To put it in a single sentence: you do so by investing in mobile websites and native mobile applications.
Mobile websites and mobile apps make excellent sales channels and if your business doesn't already have at least one of these, it's high time you hire the best professional developer you know and get started.
Using your mobile website
Consumers are increasingly growing impatient. Regardless of how they access your website, they want easy navigation, quick responses, and an un-compromised user experience. Shopify reported a 12 percent hike in its revenue and a 25 percent hike in page-views after switching to responsive and adaptive web designs which had helped reduce the latency from seven seconds to only two.
With e-commerce predicted to have an exponential growth and more and more users turning to their mobile devices for browsing and purchasing, mobile optimized websites are now a MUST for all commerce companies.
Three tips in this regard are:
1. Knowing the difference between optimizing and downsizing
Agreed, your users want faster response and easy navigation. What they also want is rich content and rich user experience. You can't achieve that simply by omitting images, videos and other vital attention-grabbing content
Good mobile optimized websites reduce response time without compromising on quality or content. Take some time to decide upon the content that defines your business and optimize it for mobile delivery.
Keep making small changes to your website and document how they affect page-views and conversions. Run A/B tests.
- Learn more: 8 Essential Mobile Marketing Considerations
2. Choosing responsive web design
Responsive web designs are as smart as technology gets. They eliminate change the website's layout to best suit the viewing medium used.
When your e-commerce website uses flexible images, fluid layouts, CSS3 media queries and proportion based grids to optimize navigability and readability , the mobile user experience can be excellent.
3. Choosing adaptive web design
Responsive design optimizes your e-commerce website for mobile devices based on the browser. Adaptive web design on the other hand optimizes primarily for your consumer and not the browser being used.
What this means is that your website displays optimally and specifically for the device accessing it. A desktop user views a 1000×1000 pixel image rendered at 125KB and an iPhone user is shown a 250×250 pixel rendered at 25KB image. The aim is to provide a device optimized image as quickly as possible.
Using mobile apps
If you have a loyal customer base, mobile apps can be extremely potent in providing a rich user experience. These apps are designed to be able to save purchase history and build a customer profile, based on which recommendations on other products and services are made.
While mobile optimized websites will suffice for SMBs, mobile apps are a second must-have for large retailers, after mobile websites.