The question of where people most frequently shop has been critical to the success of businesses, investors, banks, and governments for decades. With the advent of the Internet and credit cards, the e-commerce industry revolutionized business success. New players have entered the field—namely website designers, hosting companies, and Internet payment service providers.
Welcome to the World of Mobile Commerce
However, we are now past the age e-commerce and onto the next: m-commerce. According to Microsoft, out of the world’s four billion mobile users, 1.08 billion users have smartphones, and that number is growing daily. Microsoft also projects that by 2014, the number of mobile users will surpass the number of desktop users.
No wonder why Microsoft rushed to develop their relationship with Nokia! It is also no surprise that Apple and Samsung are battling for the property rights of mobile devices.
The M-Commerce User Experience
Now that we have established the demand for mobile commerce, let’s discuss how you can optimize your e-commerce website for mobile shoppers.
To optimize your e-commerce website for m-commerce, you have three options:
- Leave your site as it is and hope that your sales remain consistent throughout 2014
- Design a responsive HTML website that will scale or modify itself per device
- Design a completely different website specifically for mobile devices
In my opinion, option three is the best. You will need a completely different website or format for your mobile commerce site. Since the size of the mobile screen is smaller than a computer monitor, less is better. Do you have a product or service that is in high demand by your customers? Do you categorize your products? Do you know what you want people to buy? Focus on three to five key elements and have your designer work from there. The balance between all of these items is important because your mobile page will require minimal information.
When Microsoft compared mobile and PC users, mobile users have less patience. They are looking to find a specific website and make a purchase quickly. Mobile users have focus. On your mobile website, you want your customers to be a few clicks away from their purchase. Create your authoritative brand by offering a clean, simplistic e-commerce site that will convey confidence and ease of use to your mobile shopper.
Tablets vs. Smartphones
The other side of mobile optimization includes the 19% of Americans who own tablets. According to Adobe, tablet users spend 54% more money than smartphone users. They also spend 21% more money than traditional PC users.
While creating a mobile-optimized site for your smartphone is one option, you should consider creating another mobile-optimized site for your customers shopping with tablets. Since tablet screens are bigger than smartphone screens, you can include more information and content than on your smartphone site and since they are willing to spend more, include items that are more expensive.
Jump on the Mobile Commerce Bandwagon
It is exciting to think about the new, different ways e-commerce merchants will be able to reach customers in the future. Some of the very first e-commerce websites established just a few years ago are now giant Fortune 500 companies. So, jump on the mobile commerce bandwagon because you do not want to miss the opportunity to capitalize on these latest market trends.