October 21, 2011
Let’s talk about mobile shopping. If you don’t yet have a mobile presence, you’ll fall quickly behind- as greater numbers of shoppers are browsing on their phones even while shopping in stores. According to Gartner Inc., mobile applications and social media will account for 50% of web sales by 2015.
Here are some things to think about, to get you started.
1. What devices will you optimize for? All of them? Careful…this becomes a morass very quickly. The first thing to do is to see where your mobile traffic is coming from using your web analytics program. You should be able to see very quickly which devices are browsing your site- most likely: iphone, android and blackberry, in that order.
2. Do you want your entire experience available via mobile? Keeping it simple is good, but too simple, and your customers could get frustrated that they can’t find a feature they love on your desktop site (a style-finder, or special editorial section). Be sure to include your most popular features and typical functionality- the navigation should be the same architecturally, though the steps and visuals should be simplified and customized to the smaller screen.
3. Are you going to build it, or outsource it? There are lots of great vendors out there. My choice currently is Moovweb. They are fairly new to the space- but they have quickly signed an impressive list of major retailers. Not surprising- given the low maintenance model, reasonable pricing- and great service.
4. How often will you update content? A mobile site does need maintenance and attention to align with your brand and marketing messages. Make sure that major promotions are reflected consistently across all channels. Shoppers are becoming increasingly channel agnostic- they will shop wherever, and however it’s convenient for them. So make sure that your messages are consistent, so that if she sees something compelling in your store window or homepage, it’s reflected consistently on the mobile site homepage as well.
5. Test and analyze. Be sure to try out the site on the mobile devices you’re optimizing for, so that you understand the experience, and are happy with it. Watch the analytics. Mobile shoppers may be more search directed than on your desktop site, because it’s simply easier. Make sure your search box is prominent and effective. Take a look at what’s working, and what’s not. Optimize and prioritize the site accordingly.
These are the basics you’ll need to get started. Please let me know how it goes.