Let’s play a quick word association game.
When I say “mobile,” what do you immediately think of?
A mobile phone.
Now if I say “mobile ecommerce,” what comes to mind?
Buying something online using your mobile phone, right?
Sure. But don’t forget to consider other mobile devices!
In today’s day and age, a mobile ecommerce strategy means so much more than “mobile phone.” Mobile ecommerce has spread from simple purchases made on a phone handset (think apps and ring tones) to making purchases on your smartphones (the mini computer in your pocket), tablet PCs, iPads, and web-enabled e-readers.
By now I’m guessing that you’re thinking, “DUH!” and wondering why I mention it at all. The reason is simple: When designing and launching a mobile ecommerce strategy, you have to take ALL mobile devices and how they are going to “see” your ecommerce site into consideration. You wouldn’t believe how many companies equate “mobile ecommerce” to one particular platform as in, “Our mobile site is optimized for use on the iPhone.”
To be truly mobile-ready and relevant to your audience no matter how they view your site, your mobile site strategy needs to address the viewing requirements of each particular device. This is especially critical as your target audience begins migrating from one device to the next.
Here’s an example:
I am typing this blog post on a desktop computer but I also have two mobile devices on my desk—a tablet and a smartphone. I bounce between devices regularly, based on where I’m headed and what I’m doing. For example, at my desk, I would view your ecommerce site on my desktop computer. My smart phone lives in my pocket and would be my go-to device while walking from the office to my car or anywhere I don’t want to pull out my tablet, but my tablet is at the ready during all meetings. The fact of the matter is that I want to be able to easily place an order on your site from any of these devices without a loss of functionality or experience.
I realize that having an ecommerce site that renders well on a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone will take some extra work on your part, but the effort will be well worth it as your customers shop your site more frequently, from whatever device is most convenient at the time.