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3 ways to make a mobile Web site stand out amongst the competition

With 40 percent of smartphone owners browsing the Internet more frequently on their phones – using their devices to make holiday charity donations and buy gifts online – it only makes sense to ensure mobile purchases are available anywhere at any time.

It is important for retailers and nonprofits to have mobile stores and optimized donation forms to see holiday success and stand out from the competition. But how can mobile Web sites really stand out to smartphone users for the holidays?

Mobile Commerce Daily Deputy Managing Editor Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Mike Zserdin, CEO of UR Mobile, regarding the top three things to include when creating a mobile Web site to stand out amongst the competition.

Here is what he said:

What are some tactics that retailers can use to get consumers onto their mobile site?
The No. 1 thing is brand cohesiveness. Use the same URL on mobile as on your desktop site, as opposed to m. or .mobi. All it takes is a simple redirect script. That way, consumers can discover the mobile site all on their own.

Additionally, advertise your mobile site on your traditional site.

Once they are there, what are the three features that should be included to drive conversion?
I would think product reviews and testimonials, which could even be presented in the form of videos. Additionally, incentives like discounts for an opt-in for future communication and for taking a survey or participating in a poll.

During the holidays these engaging polls could mean something like, “Get 20 percent off if you name Santa’s fourth reindeer.”

What are some ways that retailers can deal with abandoned shopping carts on mobile Web sites?
Often times the shopping cart will kick out to a Paypal or another third-party. Additionally, there are times where the checkout process is not optimized for mobile, while the site is. The cart must be mobile-optimized.

For existing customers whose credentials the retailer already has, a follow-up email reminding them of the abandoned cart is a good way to get people back to the cart.

What about after the purchase? How can retailers maintain a dialog after the sale is complete?
It is similar to online. Post-satisfaction surveys and sending out email communications to offer complementary items to the ones already bought.

I recently bought a baseball bat for my son and I am getting emails for baseballs. What’s great about mobile is I can act immediately.

How should social media and personalization be worked into a mobile retail site?
If a retailer can tie existing user preferences to an existing customer profile [someone that is signed into their account], upselling is critical.

Additionally, upselling can be done as the user is browsing the site.

As for social media, it is a great way to let customers promote deals and offers. So for example, “I just saved 20 percent on this item here.”

What about nonprofits? What’s the opportunity for them in mobile?
For nonprofits first and foremost: people want to advocate a cause they like and this is especially true for the holiday season.

Nonprofits can have a mobile presence without a significant cost.

So many causes host banquets, auctions and dinners and they can provide video testimonials at events and promote them on mobile. They can also distribute slideshows on mobile as well, like via Flickr.

And, they need to have an optimized donation form and a call to action on social media.

During an event, have people check-in and share via Facebook Mobile and Twitter that they are at the event. This helps to generate buzz.

The bottom line, whether it be for nonprofits or retailers, they should tie all their print and other traditional media to any digital support they have.

So, you are a nonprofit auctioning off a football signed by Eli Manning, tie a QR code to it leading potential buyers to a video of Mr. Manning talking about why he donated to this cause.

Tie a product to the story via mobile.

Final Take
Giselle Tsirulnik is deputy managing editor on Mobile Commerce Daily