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Simply repurposing an ecommerce site no longer an option

Instead of copying and pasting an ecommerce site into a mobile site, marketers need to figure out what key features are needed to drive engagement, as well as sales. For example, functionality such as store locators and search is essential in a mobile commerce-enabled site.

“There are methods to get started in mobile commerce that include WAP, scraping, proxy or responsive design that accomplish a viewable mobile experience at the barest minimum,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“Highlighting these options with HTML5, which works on only the smarter phones properly, can help enhance the bare minimum experience but the process does not take into account the true mobile experience,” she said.

“Mobile is so much more than just showing what is on the PC to a consumer – the touchpoints that can enhance and benefit brands across every vertical within a company are not being used yet in strategies.”

Mobile building blocks
Mobile lets marketers engage with consumers in a personal way.

The medium is an effective one-on-one tool where retailers can learn more about their customers and come up with ways to better reach them.

When developing a mobile site, it is imperative that retailers do not just take modules that have been put together for a specific screen size and realign things to fit into a mobile device’s small screen.

Mobile provides marketers with a limited real estate that they can work with.

Therefore, developing a mobile site from the ground up is essential. By doing so, marketers are able to see which features take top priority.

“Gaining a handle on strategy for a full 360-degree marketing program across every vertical in companies will continue to evolve as brands realize just how powerful this medium can be and if thought out, how much more their consumers will start to engage,” Ms. Troutman said.

“Marketers should take into account their full print, media, social and digital ad calendars to engage an experience that doesn’t just land a consumer on a home page for mobile but reaches far beyond that simple touch point to activate a complete engagement with the brand,” she said.

“The mobile Web will become a better engagement as apps are reverse engineered for the mainstream.”

Best practices
Nowadays, consumer expectations are much higher than what they once were.

The screen size must be accommodated from a visual standpoint, but also from a functional point of view.

“Time is of the essence as shoppers want to find products fast and check out so requiring more clicks than necessary or not facilitating express checkout is a mistake,” said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group.

“Marketers should find products fast and allow for easy checkout,” she said.

“I think it’s safe to say that there will be more mobile researching and shopping and usage in the store will all grow exponentially and with that customer expectations will continue to rise. More conversion as more shoppers are comfortable. More creative use of mobile within the retail environment.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York