Your Shopping Cart is Going Mobile

Image courtesy of Jason A. Howie's photostream

Image courtesy of Jason A. Howie’s photostream

Using mobile devices to access the Internet is becoming increasingly more popular. Additionally, more people are transforming their smartphones from a website browsing device into a mobile shopping cart, and it makes perfect sense. With our on-the-go lifestyles becoming more hectic, we need solutions that make our lives a little simpler. Being able to make a purchase from your smartphone screams convenience. After all, isn’t that what we are after?

An eCommerce store can help you increase sales by reaching a larger number of potential customers in existing and new markets. You are able to lower costs in marketing, promotional materials and events, order processing, distribution costs and inventories. Many retailers are considering mobile commerce (mCommerce) the next big platform, combining the advantages of powerful eCommerce with the mobility and freedom of handheld devices. So, while the demand for mobile commerce-compliant websites is there and the technological inadequacies are being ironed out, now is the time to consider the fit of this technology for your business with a few tips from SmallBusinessComputing.com:

1. Consider building a separate, streamlined site geared towards mobile users. Register it as a mobile site with search engines so it shows up in mobile searches, and provide a link to your mobile site from your main website. Check out services such as Mobify, which helps create mobile-friendly websites.

2. Send text messages to customers about specials and discounts. SMS text messaging services, such as Fanminder, Ez Texting and Ruxter, help businesses create a mobile website and share messages with customers and members.

3. Make sure that customers are given the choice to opt-in if they want to get your promotions via their cell phones.

4. Wireless carriers, credit card companies and software companies are all introducing mobile commerce solutions; start by assessing solutions from vendors you already use and trust.

5.  Integrating mobile commerce transactions with your accounting and contact management solutions can help save time and increase efficiency.

6. Businesses considering mobile commerce need to verify that the mobile commerce payments vendor is PA-DSS compliant, which means that its solution has met global security standards created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to prevent payment applications from storing prohibited secure data, such as magnetic stripe, PIN or CVV2 numbers.

Once you’ve determined that mCommerce is a good fit for your business, begin planning your efforts now. Condense the information that you currently provide on your desktop version into a space that is about a tenth of that size. Keep the navigation clean and easy to use and consider providing additional space around links for touch screen users. The total size of all text, graphics, Javascript and HTML should be kept to a minimum, no more than 60K. Black text on white is easiest to read in varying light conditions and pre-filled forms and drop-down boxes help to reduce typing. Lastly, work with your website developer or experiment with your DIY platform to try the site on various mobile devices.

With the consumer demand for more convenient streamlined processes growing, it is only a matter of time before mobile commerce becomes the next big platform. Start making plans today to ensure you are ahead of the game and ahead of your competitors.

References:
http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/news/article.php/3903176/What-is-Mobile-Commerce-and-Why-Should-You-Care.htm
http://www.enterprisenation.com/blog/mcommerce-going-mobile-with-your-online-store/

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