It’s no secret that mobile phones are becoming a more and more important way for businesses to interact with their customers. The latest, and for most companies, greatest development has been the rise of retail through smart phones (called mcommerce).
But it seems to have caught many online retailers seemingly unawares, with ecommerce site designs that don’t translate to the mobile environment.
Previously, there was a stigma attached with buying over the phone – most people simply didn’t want to give their credit card details away over their mobiles. But as consumers become more and more comfortable with ecommerce in general, and the line between phone and computer has well and truly blurred, ecommerce websites that aren’t designed for mobile customers are simply missing out on a piece of the pie. Any ecommerce website designer will tell you that nothing scares off potential customers like having to use a traditional ecommerce site on a smart phone.
Looking at standard consumer behaviours, it’s easy to understand why mcommerce is becoming so big: most of us carry our phones almost all of the time. But also, for many people mobiles have become a way to fill ‘down time’ – like waiting for an appointment or sitting in the back of a cab.
So what are the mcommerce trends?
• More than 75% of Australians use their phone to access the net.
• Users of Apple and Android platforms are now pretty much head for head.
• By 2015, Australian smart phone ownership is expected to be around 80% – that’s 4 out of 5 Australians.
So what are the basic differences between an effective ecommerce site and good mcommerce design?
First off, the site should take into account the difference in size of a mobile screen compared to a computer screen – your ecommerce web designer needs to understand how the site adapts depending on screen orientation and device type, such as a smart phone or a tablet.
Also your web designers need to consider the differences in consumer behaviours when using their mobiles to shop. Users are less likely to be ‘goal orientated’ and more likely to make impulse purchases. So the path to purchase has to be as easy as possible – every extra step is a chance to lose a customer.
So what does it all boil down to? The general principles don’t change – regardless of the platform, good ecommerce design drives sales – it’s just the environment, and therefore the design, that’s different. So if your online shopfront isn’t mcommerce ready, contact the team at Bonsai media – we’ll help you get mobile.