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Westport Big & Tall targets mobile visitors with mcommerce site

The mobile sites are designed specifically with the mobile visitor in mind, offering features such as order tracking and a store locator. The site is linked to Westport’s Phoenix Direct ecommerce platform and was built by Unbound Commerce.

“We have been witnessing a dramatic increase in mobile traffic over the past two years and need to provide the best shopping experience for these customers, with the goal of maximizing the conversion rate of what has become a significant segment of total website traffic,” said McGregor Button, vice president and Web marketing director at Phoenix Direct, Alpharetta GA.  “Combined with changes to Google organic search that gives preference to Web sites with mobile optimization, we were compelled to act.

“To specifically target our mobile customers and provide them with the best possible shopping experience, we took the approach of building a dedicated mobile site that would allow us to provide a completely tailored shopping experience without the compromises that come with extending a single desktop site to do everything for everyone,” he said.

Westport update
In the last year, Westport has seen mobile traffic to its site increase dramatically, so the retailer decided it needed to provide a better experience for these mobile visitors.

The mobile and tablet sites provide the same product offerings as the desktop site but in a mobile-optimized format. The site also includes order tracking, a store locator, customer login, catalog request and click-to-call.

Additionally, the site integrates social sharing so that consumers can easily share products with friends and family.

“We re-thought existing features within the context of mobile shopping and built them on a dedicated mobile site,” Mr. Button said.

Mobile traffic
The goal is to meet mobile customers with an optimized experience to increase traffic and keep them on the site for longer. Consumers are more likely to abandon a site when they are forced to pinch and squeeze to read information or see pictures, so a mobile-optimized site is much more likely to increase consumers’ time spent on a site.

Responsive design seems to be one of the more popular ways to approach mobile sites, but marketers seem to be realizing that it may not be the best solution (see story).

While responsive design may be easier, developers are realizing that a mobile site requires more than simply resizing a desktop site (see story).

Consumers act differently on mobile than they do on desktop, so marketers would benefit from creating wholly new mobile-specific sites as opposed to hoping that the desktop site will do fine.

“People are increasingly using mobile and tablet devices as part of their shopping process and these customers now make up a significant percentage of our total digital traffic,” Mr. Button said.

“This is the very core of our business as a retailer, so we saw it as an essential move to provide the best mobile shopping experience possible to both keep our existing customers and entice new buyers shopping with their mobile devices,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York