It’s safe to say Alexander Graham Bell never intended the telephone to double as a one-stop shop for anything you could possibly imagine. Nonetheless, mobile commerce is an exploding part of the retail & eCommerce industry. According to Coremetrics, 5.6 percent of all 2010 Black Friday visits to retail websites were from mobile devices. If you don’t have mobile capabilities for your website, you’re missing out on a growing trend that isn’t showing signs of stopping.
Smartphones have made it easy surf the internet, but the size of the mobile screen encourages unique user behavior. Some shopping carts give you the ability to create a mobile site with a click of a button, giving you all of the functional of your web store in a format that better suits mobile shopping.
Below you’ll find four tips for encouraging your customers to take part in mobile commerce.
01: Establish a mobile version of your site and consider developing an application.
A mobile site is important for drawing in new traffic via mobile Google searches. But have you considered developing a branded application? You probably won’t get many new customers using a mobile application, but return customers are likely to download a mobile application to make a quick buy. When a customer downloads your application to his or her phone, your business gets free, targeted brand placement and a gentle reminder to the customer that you’re here to help.
02: QR codes are the next wave of mobile marketing.
The iPhone has changed the game for mobile communication, and phones with Android operating systems are on the up-and-up. Smartphones that have the ability to take pictures are increasingly able to scan special codes, called QR codes, that automatically direct the customer to a specific piece of content. Integrating QR codes or the ability to read product barcodes into your mobile store gives customers a quick price comparison snapshot when they’re out perusing brick-and-mortar store inventories.
03: Offer plenty of payment options to make checkout a snap.
While it’s easier than ever to send data using your mobile device, inputting credit card and personal information is still a sensitive task. If your customer has to sign-up for an account or input data manually, you might lose them before you capture the sale. To make it easier on customers, consider offering them payment options they’re already comfortable with, like Checkout by Amazon, Google Checkout or PayPal Express (where their personal data is already saved).
04: A smaller screen doesn’t mean your customers won’t want to see the product in action.
A picture’s worth a thousand words—and potentially several converted sales, if you’re in the eCommerce business. Just because your mobile site has its limitations doesn’t mean you should skimp on product imagery. Like a customer using your website, the mobile customer wants to see pictures of the product. Remember, it’s always wise to include pictures of the product in action or some sort of usable context.