Cookies…Who mentioned dessert?
In the 90s, it was all about having a website. The conversation moved from whether you’d be spending money on having ads in the classifieds and Yellow Pages to having a basic website, and perhaps a banner ad. Over the last five years, it’s moved to having a social media presence: Do you have a Facebook brand page, or Twitter account, and do you “do” social media? But rising up faster in the conversation than all of the above-mentioned forms of marketing is the biggest, scariest change of them all, but arguably the most important: Having a mobile website.
Mobile device owners are growing: In the US, 36.4% of the 243 million mobile users access the Internet from their smartphone, and they’d like to be seeing their sites properly on the mobile, thank you very much. In another study, comScore Device Essentials determined that mobile phones and tablets made up a whopping 13.3 percent of Internet page views in August 2012. One year ago, it was half the amount.
Over the last five years, smartphone consumption has increased from barely 9 million Americans in 2007, to nearly 110 million smartphone owners, today. Tablet devices are growing too, as iPad users grow across all income segments – even the lowest segment of growth, households below $25k of income, saw a 79% increase to close to a million, while the <100k bracket grew 121%. There’s no doubt: Tablets aren’t just a newfangled gadget for a select few. They are a real way people are using the Internet and growing by the day.
As customers transitioned from shopping in local grocery stores to larger supermarkets, cookie manufacturers had to adjust their sales relationships with their distributors, to make sure their end customers had the best possible purchase experience.Imagine being a cookie manufacturer. The job isn’t just about creating and baking the best-tasting cookie ever and designing beautiful package that preserved the product. It’s also about ensuring that the cookie-buying and cookie-eating experience was awesome for the user – by making sure the supermarkets who stock your cookies are well-lit and clean, that the shelves are labeled properly, and that when the customer arrives at the checkout counter, they can buy your cookies without having any problems – otherwise, they might turn around and put them right back on the shelf.
We’re now seeing the same change on the Internet, and this time, it’s moving from purchasing on the desktop, in front of the computer, to on the train or bus, using an iPad, or walking through the street, using a smartphone.
In 2013, customers will be expecting more from brands, and want the optimum user experience. Part of that is by the brand tailoring the user experience.
The Product Search Begins On Mobile:
The number of people searching on mobile devices is increasing exponentially. When they make the search and visit your site, it needs to be easily navigated, with the hopes they will revisit at a desktop to make the final purchase, or sell it now. It’s the first step in brand awareness and on the road to an eventual transaction.
Getting Return Visitors To Your Site:
People who visit a site from a mobile device are likely to revisit from a desktop if the site is appropriate and caters to their needs. If the site is difficult to view and navigate, they may see no need to revisit again when it comes to making the actual purchase. Purchases are most likely to happen on a mobile device if the site is optimized for mobile users. If they don’t like it, they will move on to another site that better suits their needs.
Keep Them On Your Mobile Site, and Get Them To Buy:
A site that’s not designed for mobile is difficult to navigate. A mobile phone displaying a desktop site is not a fun experience for the user. It loads slowly, is hard to view, and requires constant zooming and scrolling. Not to mention the difficulty in choosing menu options – thumbs are stubby and aren’t capable of clicking on intricate menus in the same way as a mouse. When it comes to making the transaction, trying to check small boxes that aren’t optimized for mobile – instead of the standard mobile design, a drop down – as well as entering extensive information into form fields is a huge customer deterrent.
If your website analytics are telling you that customers are visiting you from mobile devices, it’s time to consider designing a mobile site.
Your mobile site should be fully functional. It’s not just there to broadcast your products. According to comScore, 65% of U.S. smartphone users perform retail or shopping activities on their devices, with 1 in 5 smartphone users purchasing goods or services via their mobile phone. The test came this week on Cyber Monday, when data showed that shopping on mobile devices has increased by 166% this year. If mobile phones and tablet devices are becoming a place where customers are not just browsing – but buying, it’s time to make a mobile site, and ensure that it includes the functionality to accept mobile payments.
Analytics comes into play again. Look at your exit pages. If it appears customers are leaving when it’s time to make the transaction, this may indicate their discomfort with the usability and also security of making a purchase on a mobile device.
In 2012, E-Complish launched MobilePay, a secure, PCI-compliant system that enables websites to offer a transactional payment functionality on mobile sites.
Customers can make payments or update their billing information on the go, from a tablet or smartphone, using simple drop-down fields and boxes.
Mobile sites and native apps offer different benefits and functionality, but MobilePay is available across both streams. Using DevConnect, our E-Complish solution for back-end development, it’s possible to integrate a bill payment or checkout functionality into any mobile app – a key benefit for customers who might not see the advantage of downloading your branded app.
So let’s learn from the cookie manufacturers! It may be time to transition your website from the local store, to the “mobile” supermarket. Just please do not add milk! We are not responsible for damaged mobile phones.
Learn more about MobilePay by E-Complish and download the FREE White Paper to get started taking payments from your site on mobile, immediately!