That’s good news for online businesses. But there’s more. Many of those shoppers are moving from browsing on their desktops and tablets to doing it from their smartphone.
About 77% of Americans now have a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011. While survey numbers vary, most indicate about 60 percent of users made a purchase on their smartphone in the last six months.
And that’s just the U.S. Around the world, there are 6.8 billion cell-phone subscriptions. Yes, that’s getting fairly close to a cell phone for every person on the planet (total population is estimated at 7.4 billion).
Clearly, if you want to have success when developing a website with the right CMS, you need to cater to mobile shoppers.
Here are some areas to consider when thinking about reaching mobile customers.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
This is obviously the first step. It’s been three years since Google reported that more searches were happening on mobile phones than on desktop computers. That’s why marketing pros have long advocated responsive website design that is “device agnostic” – in other words, accessible no matter what device consumers are using.
With the increased number of people shopping on smartphones, it’s more important than ever to have a content management system that is mobile-friendly, such as those offered by Sitefinity. Making your website mobile-friendly also can improve your rankings on Google search engine results pages.
Give Mobile Customers What They Want
If you’re a traditional business that also has a website, make sure store hours and location are easy to find via mobile. Looking for that information is one of the top ways people find websites. For any kind of business, traditional or web-based, make product listings easy to access from any part of the site. That’s because a majority of people say they compare prices on products while shopping, and even those who shop 100% online will use different devices while they do so.
Create Mobile Apps
Speaking of giving customers what they want! An app makes it easy to access your site and create better engagement with your customers. Depending on the service or product you offer, it would be wise to consider building an app alongside the development of your mobile-friendly website. This will help create continuity between the two and make the experience that much more cohesive for your customers.
Part of going beyond simply making a site responsive is to improve navigation for mobile users. This includes optimizing to make photos and content fit with any-sized screen and making everything easy to see without having to scroll a lot or zoom in. Care must also be taken in not having software that phones don’t typically use (such as Flash) and installing a navigation bar that’s easy for mobile users.
There many other technical factors and details to consider, all of which a company with success in developing websites and e-commerce businesses can help with. They include:
- Not disabling the “submit” button. Many sites disable the submit button after one try to avoid multiple submissions. But since mobile phones are notoriously unreliable in this area, it’s wise not to disable the submit button.
- Use standard fonts
- Select a width that is mobile friendly
- Optimizing images for mobile
- Making your ads mobile friendly, which typically means at least getting higher placement when people check a topic on their smartphones
Whatever path you take, the point is – take one. The need for a mobile-friendly site is not something for the future, but for right now.