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5 best-practice tips for mobile commerce

By Sean Cook

Retailers pay attention – those are not just toys in consumers’ hands.

Just last year mobile commerce was estimated to be an $18.3 billion business. ABI Research now projects mobile commerce will grow into a $119 billion global industry by 2015.

These statistics demonstrate the strength and speed at which mobile commerce has been adopted by the mainstream consumer as a shopping channel.

To take advantage of this new touch point, retailers must provide consumers with an optimized mobile experience.

Streamline your efforts

Do not create operational redundancies by opting for a discreet mobile commerce platform.

Investigate mobile offerings that already – or will allow you to – integrate with your existing ecommerce platform.

Maintaining a single platform for all your multichannel needs eliminates the need to address what will become a complicated operational pain-point down the road.

Additionally, you can analyze with better accuracy which marketing campaigns are most effective when all your business is captured on one platform.

Consider search engine optimization

Consumer behavior on a mobile device is distinct from that on a computer.

Mobile users are not typically browsing Web sites. They are deliberately searching for a product.

Therefore, how high you naturally appear on mobile search is the single most influential factor in your mobile commerce success.

It is essential that your mobile platform is optimized specifically for mobile search engines.

Keep it “lite”

Remember, mobile users are navigating strictly with their thumbs. Therefore, your mobile site should not be a mirror copy of your Web site.

Impressive features that better the user experience on a computer make for a time-consuming and frustrating mobile experience.

To meet the needs of customers, retailers must create a mobile site that is “lite” enough to quickly load onto a smartphone.

Additionally, a mobile site should have big buttons and an easy-to-navigate tool bar that guides users to products and payment.

Engage with an intelligent platform

To be effective, your platform needs to accurately detect from which type of device a user is browsing. This is instrumental in capturing relevant analytics and ensures that the user is directed to the correct version of your site.

When consumers open links from Twitter and Facebook or email promotions from their phone, they are better served when directed to the mobile-optimized site.

Offer mobile payment options

By providing consumers a variety of payment options you are likely to see an increase in conversions.

Users prefer to engage with secure payment options such as PayPal Mobile. If a buyer can simply use an existing payment account to make a purchase, it eliminates the need to fill lengthy forms that often deter purchases on mobile devices.

Additionally, customers feel safer using payment methods that they know are secure and legitimate.

This is a real opportunity to reach more customers on a device that a majority of people use daily.

While purchasing on mobile devices is still a relatively new phenomenon, this is the time to consider a mobile commerce platform and how it can help you expand your reach.

Sean Cook is CEO of ShopVisible, Atlanta, GA. Reach him at [email protected]