Many ecommerce websites, even successful ones, end up overlooking the mobile market. With the proliferation of smart phones and the perpetual mobility of people, ignoring this avenue of traffic is unconscionable. You could be doing so much better if you would allocate resources to develop and implement a mobile ecommerce (mcommerce) plan.
Mcommerce Is Eclipsing Ecommerce
Unfortunately, too many smaller businesses treat mcommerce as the lesser cousin of ecommerce. If you watch the moves by big players though, you know that mcommerce demands our attention.
Most major ecommerce websites have bought into the "commerce everywhere" movement, and are ready to reap the rewards of being mobile-friendly. From merely developing small-screen friendly website, most players today have dedicated apps that enable seamless mobile access. There are some really compelling reasons for predicting that mcommerce will overtake ecommerce.
- Everyone Carries Their Mobile Phone All the Time
That translates into the fact that everyone carries a device that can access your mcommerce offering all the time. Can you ignore that fact anymore? Do you want people to switch on their computers every time the would like to buy from you?
- Accessing the PC Is Cumbersome
Ecommerce is soon going to be at the mercy of mobile devices. Everyone wants a social life and mobility. A desktop machine takes away from that, while a mobile device integrates into that paradigm.
- The Phone Provides a Fast Way to Look Up Something
If you want to check the price, product description, image, review, or learn about related products, the phone is the fastest method.
- The Phone Facilitates Rapid Purchase
Shopping online is really fast using the mobile phone. There is no computer to boot up. In the case of dedicated apps, there is no browser to load and URL to enter. A lot of online shopping is driven by impulse. Make sure you facilitate that impulse by having mobile friendly access.
- Mobile Devices Do Not Have to Be Tied to a Specific Location
Forget the days of customers running home to get online and shop. Those days are gone. Today they simply whip out your smart phone and shop wherever they happen to be. No one needs to travel across town to find what you are looking for. Malls are for your grandma. Mcommerce is for the next generation.
What Does a Mobile Strategy Entail?
To begin with you need to decide whether you want to have a mobile version of your website dished out to mobile visitors, or have a dedicated app to access your ecommerce website, or both. If you decide to go in for an app, they you need to decide which platforms you would like to support.
Then you need to figure out how you want to participate in the entire mobile ecosystem. Strategies related to social ecommerce, fcommerce, and advertising, need to be tweaked to take into account the mobile visitor.
Elements of a Great Mcommerce Site
Mcommerce design has fewer elements visually. You have a smaller space to work with, and in most cases lower resolution. At present, this translates into visitors accepting a smaller set of functions. Some companies have attempted to incorporate all their ecommerce website functions on to their mobile offering. Given lower processing power, storage space, bandwidth, and coverage issues, function-rich mobile websites often fail.
What seems to work:
- Simple site design and navigation.
- Branding that match the main ecommerce website.
- Identical product offering
- Clear product descriptions and price specifications.
- Compelling, though small, images that can be expanded if the user so desires.
If you are not using a dedicated app, do not go for a flashy mobile homepage. Visitors know that this is a mobile version and not the whole enchilada. Match the design to the capabilities of a mobile screen.
We are already beyond the point where we repeat the slogan, "Mcommerce is here to stay." In many ways, mcommerce seems ready to overtake other forms of electronic commerce. If you do not yet have a mobile strategy, now is a good time to develop one. Do not fool yourself into believing that customers will be as happy accessing your regular website with a mobile device.