Over the last four months, Google has been ramping up its publicity of a more aggressive target for mobile site performance: sub one second page load times.
Enforcement of this aspiration comes from Google's usual source: algorithmic rewards for sites achieving this goal. You just need to look at how industry commentary has exploded around site speed issues over the last couple of years to see the impact this strategy has had.
I fully expect to see this industry focus switch to mobile-specific commentary through 2014.
Let's take a look at the evidence, and the SEO opportunity...
Consumers’ digital experiences, including banking, are becoming more and more visual. Within the retail banking sector much is still to be done.
Most importantly banks should not judge Personal Finance Management (PFM) tools as isolated investments: rather a piece of the puzzle to build a great overall digital customer experience.
In this article I will talk about how PFM has developed within retail banking (from a customer perspective) over the years, how we see things evolving and what banks can learn from new players.
It isn't always easy to find what you want in the app store, or to browse for apps that might not be in the charts.
With this problem in mind, Magvault brings together digital publications, to be perused on a digital newsstand.
I chatted to Neil Morgan, Founder of MagVault, to find out more about the service.
As has been the case for the past few years, it’s safe to assume that tablets and e-readers will be a popular gift idea this Christmas.
And with ecommerce spending in the UK predicted to reach £20.4bn in the final two months of this year, brands need to be visible in search results to maximise their sales.
New data shows that Amazon is in prime position to benefit from the spending spree as it is highly visible in SERPs for a number of popular electronic items.
This is particularly true for tablet and e-reader devices, where the retailer features in the top positions for 80% of popular keywords in organic search.
We know that we are addicted to our mobile devices and love that they enable us to purchase anytime, anywhere.
So chances are that one of your next purchases will be via your tablet or mobile phone.
But what does this mean for businesses operating in the mobile space?
Net-A-Porter has launched a new mobile app, called The Netbook, that steps up the retailer's move into social commerce.
The iOS app is based on the ‘Live’ feature that sits on the site's homepage and acts like a carousel ticking through the latest products that customers have purchased.
Until now the product feed was anonymous, so the new app is an attempt to give customers an online identity on Net-A-Porter which then creates an additional social layer to the site and makes the recommendations more powerful.
Once they’ve created a profile users can create a wish list within the app by ‘loving’ different products and also follow other users by ‘admiring’ them.
The Netbook is currently invite-only and the launch was timed to coincide with London Fashion Week so that Net-A-Porter can sign up bloggers, stylists, designers and other members of the fashion glitterati. Everyone else will have to join a waiting list.
Mobile commerce sales have doubled in the space of a year and now account for almost a quarter of total online sales, according to a new report.
It again highlights the growing importance of m-commerce at a time when many retailers are still struggling to develop effective, user-friendly mobile sites and apps.
The new data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that sales completed through mobile devices accounted for 23.2% of total ecommerce sales in Q2 2013, up from 11.6% in the same period last year.
A separate survey included in the Econsultancy Mobile Commerce Compendium found that half of smartphone owners (51%) hadn’t made a purchase using their smartphone in the previous six months, which shows that there is still huge potential for m-commerce sales to continue rising as a proportion of total online sales.
There’s no denying that the tablet is more than a passing fad.
With tablet shipments expected to grow 58.7% in 2013, rising from 144.5m to reach 229.3m, and with 34% of the US population currently owning a tablet, it’s important for brands to approach the tablet design process in an entirely unique and different way than the smartphone and desktop.
Rather than being an extension of these channels, there’s a huge opportunity to turn the tablet into a unique channel for engagement, capable of delivering strong conversion and incremental revenue.
Every month more than 100,000 people visit Econsultancy using a mobile device, but we're yet to launch a responsive site. This isn’t because we don’t want to make the user experience better for mobile and tablet users. It’s simply that we’ve had to prioritise other things, and tech resources are limited.
It’s pretty straightforward to make a business case for mobile-friendly design if you have a transactional but non-responsive website: simply look at your conversion rates by device. They’ll probably be fairly woeful for tablets, and even worse for mobiles (certainly if ours are anything to go by). Add a dollop of simple maths and you’ll have some idea of the opportunity cost of not making the customer experience better for mobile and tablet users.
I first made the case for mobile about three years ago, when about 5% of people used a smartphone to access our website. That wasn’t enough to make it a high priority, but by the end of this year around 20% of visitors will be browsing via a mobile device. That changes things considerably, and more so as our visitor numbers continue to grow.
In our case I reckon we’re missing out on six figures worth of annual revenue, and as such we’re busy working away behind the scenes on a number of initiatives, including a fully responsive website.
I have yet to hear about a decline in conversion rates following the roll-out of a responsive site. In fact, I only ever hear amazing things.
So, if you're making a business case and need some examples then here are a bunch of companies that have benefited from significant uplift in the key metrics following the implementation of responsive design.
Google has a unique viewpoint from which to look at mobile’s part to play in the customer journey.
SERPs, AdWords, Google Maps, Google Chrome, Google accounts – all have a part to play. And perhaps soon Google Wallet and Google Glass.
I attended Latitude’s client summit last week and listened to Harry Davies, Lead Product Marketing Manager, Large Customer Marketing, at Google (helping customers get the most from search).
I’ve tried to sum up some of what Harry had to say, giving an overview of mobile’s involvement in retail in 2013.