By now, the concept of both e-Commerce and mobile optimization are pretty old hat. Just about anyone vaguely familiar with current technology is aware of the fact that products can be purchased and shipped directly from a website, and that searches and browsing can be easily performed on a mobile device, such as a phone.
What many business owners are less aware of is the fact that these two elements can be combined. As both e-Commerce and mobile technology evolve, more and more customers will be using their phones to not only find websites that sell the product or products they’re looking for, but to complete the entire buying cycle, performing every step from a search to a purchase from their phones.
This concept would have been absolutely mind-blowing 20 or so years ago, yes. However, with the rapid advancement of both mobile technology and e-Commerce stores, it was only a matter of time before the popularity of mobile shopping ramped up to a level that required business owners to not only acknowledge it, but get themselves involved, too.
That time is now, and an article over at Practical Ecommerce has some tips for business owners on how they can take advantage of this new trend. Entitled 5 Keys to Mobile Search Optimization in 2014, it lays out some recommendations that will help retailers ensure they have a mobile-ready website that offers customers a satisfying online shopping experience from start to finish on their phones.
Here’s a look at one of the tips:
3. Responsive Design
While there has been a fair amount of debate about whether it is better to use responsive design for mobile optimization or to create a separate mobile version of your site, in 2014 responsive design should emerge as the clear winner, especially in the face of Google’s desire for fast loading mobile site. The search engine firm, which by some estimates has nearly a 70 percent share of mobile search traffic, explicitly states that site owners should avoid too many redirects. Building a separate mobile website will require at least one of those time consuming redirects.
Responsive design may provide a better user experience as shoppers interact with a site across devices. Responsive design is also easier to manage, since you do not need to maintain separate websites with separate content.
This year make your site responsive.
For those unaware, responsive design is the art of designing and developing your website in a manner that will allow it to automatically adjust to the screen size of any device, from a giant monitor to a small phone. It’s highly recommended for a few reasons – as the article has already mentioned, it saves you on both time and costs, as you won’t need to build a brand new site from scratch specifically for mobile devices, and it offers users a better experience by giving them one central location no matter what they’re using to browse the web.
Furthermore, Google prefers responsive design, as it means you’ve chosen the easiest and most convenient route for your customers to view your website. As they give priority to anything they think will offer users an easier, more satisfying experience, responsive design could put your website ahead of your competition.
The article goes on to discuss load times, image sizing, social login and alternative payments, and app-like features. We’d strongly recommend giving it a read to help you form a mobile e-Commerce optimization strategy for this year, as the popularity of shopping from multiple devices is only going to continue to increase.
What do you think? Do you have a strategy for mobile e-Commerce optimization in place? Do you plan on creating one now? Did you find this article useful? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!