By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill, Web Success Team
Mobile shopping doubled over the 2011 holiday season and with the 2012 holiday season fast approaching, if you aren’t on board, you are going to be left behind. Nearly 50% of smartphone owners use (or plan to use) their phones for mobile shopping (ABI Research). Online shopping’s popularity among smartphone users is due in part to those just hunting for a deal online, but also due to the countless great apps retailers have developed to make shopping so easy (too easy), either way, shopping on our smartphones is not as scary as it once was and its popularity just keeps growing.
Mobile may not yet be the most used form of purchase, according to Google, only 20% of smartphone users complete their purchases on their smartphone. But we can’t ignore mobile optimization when 89% of smartphone owners use their smartphones on a daily basis, and many of them interact with their devices several times per day. As these smartphone addicts become more and more comfortable shopping online, and with better mobile optimization for their favorite stores, you can count on the mobile shopping percentage quickly increasing.
If you watch any TV or read any magazines, you have heard all about the couponing craze. In our current economy, everyone wants the best deal possible. When consumers aren’t purchasing on their smartphones, they are using them to produce a coupon in store. Forty-one percent of mobile shoppers said they use coupons at the grocery store, 41% at department stores and 39% at clothing stores (according to Neilsen Research).
Many of these purchases are coming from mobile search; 60% of consumers use mobile searches before buying (Google Research). You can count on this number growing even higher with more smartphone users and more mobile optimization.
How Do We Optimize?
Now that you know what motivates consumers, and where they are going to shop, we need to know what has to be done to optimize. Search Engine Journal recommends the following;
#1: Understand How Mobile Consumers Interact with Websites
Find out why your average customer is on your site and cater your mobile design process from the customer’s mindset. This ensures that the elements you choose will serve their needs.
#2: Declutter Your Mobile Interface
This makes perfect sense to me. No one likes scrolling all over the place on their touch screen trying to find what they need. A mobile website version should contain only the features necessary for immediate access from a smartphone or tablet.
#3: Maintain Consistent Branding
A no-brainer for most marketers, having a site that makes people feel like they are experiencing the brand is not just good for your image, it also helps give the consumer a sense of security (important for purchasing).
Flash files on mobile devices have never been support by Apple but now Android has stopped supporting Adobe Flash for new device users. Why install something your users won’t be able to access?
#5: Eliminate Pop-up Windows
Similar to the above tip, getting rid of any pop-up windows that may have carried over to your mobile website version from your desktop site is not just cleaner, but keeps your annoyed consumer from leaving because they can’t close that window.
#6: Include a Link Back to Your Full Website
Make sure features you’ve left out of your mobile interface can be accessed. Keep consumers happy by allowing them to navigate back to your main site if needed.
Go With the Flow
Don’t miss out on your piece of the pie – use mobile web optimization to effectively reach the 50% of consumers who purchase or shop on their smartphone. Use the above tips and statistics to get your company ready to be part of growing market of online shoppers.
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