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May 15, 2012

10 Tips for Successful Mobile Commerce

Although mobile web has become mainstream, many small businesses still aren’t addressing the needs of mobile shoppers. While it may seem like a daunting task, transitioning to mobile commerce isn’t as tricky as you think. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to you get you on your way.

Usability Test

How does your website function on a smartphone? How about a tablet? Mobile devices are already outselling personal computers, so if your website doesn’t give a top-notch performance for on-the-go consumers, you’ll be losing big business.

Embrace Responsive Web Design

With a responsive web design, your website will automatically adapt to all web-enabled devices, creating a custom user experience for hundreds of million of mobile customers. Users will see different layouts depending on the screen size, eliminating the need for separate apps for each mobile device.

Use High-Resolution Images

Mobile displays are more advanced than ever, so now is not the time to skimp on image quality. If you want customers to stick around, go for high-resolution images that display beautifully on any mobile device.

Kids Know Best

Whether you admit it or not, the younger generation is more in tune with what’s going on in the technology world. They’re often the first to pick up new gadgets, so consider them a valuable resource. Ask some tech-savvy kids to check out your website and be brutally honest. Does your website feel current? Is it difficult to navigate? Is it cool?

Analyze Your Customers

Even if you’re tech-savvy and on top of market research, customers can still be unpredictable. So, to get a better idea of what mobile options you should be offering, check out your audience. Watch how they interact with their phones and use analytics to find out who they are, where they’re from, what mobile device they use and the pages they most frequently visit.

Simplify Your Website

Mobile users are after specific nuggets of information and don’t have the time (or patience) to click through a cluttered site. The harder it is for a customer to find what they’re looking for, the less likely they are to stick around.

Simplify the Shopping Experience

Is it hard to buy a product from your ecommerce site with a mobile device? Is it enjoyable? Is it frustrating? Responsive design is a step in the right direction, but you really need to pay attention to the overall buying experience. Do customers have to type in a lot of information? Do they have to zoom in to see important information? Is their data saved if a connection is dropped? How is the order confirmed?

Ditch the Flash

Flash is incompatible with most mobile operating systems, including Apple’s iOS. And even if you do find a device that supports it, Flash files are generally large and take forever to load on mobile networks. Avoid it at all costs.

Choose a Mobile-Friendly Platform

Go for an ecommerce platform with built-in mobile capabilities, such as Magento. Even if you don’t want to focus on mobile just yet, you’ll have the flexibility to hop on board as soon as you’re ready.

Take Your Time

Before you rush out and invest in technology that you have no idea how to use, update or fix, stop for a minute. Will you be able to understand the technology? Will it be outdated soon? Do you even need it? Contemplate your options, because new technology doesn’t always mean better business.

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