Back in the early days of mobile commerce there was frequent debate over whether businesses should opt for a mobile site or a mobile app.
Fortunately most businesses and marketers now realise that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and that the two platforms aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
However we do occasionally still see businesses launching apps without properly considering the functionality that will be most appealing and useful to their customers.
Data from our new Mobile Commerce Compendium shows that, more than anything else, consumers want to be rewarded with exclusive offers if they download a retail app, with 38% of respondents selecting this as an important feature for smartphone apps.
Mobile is no longer a trend or even just an opportunity. It is quickly becoming the new standard for consuming content.
Over the years there has been a continued, symbiotic evolution of mobile technology and consumer expectations, especially in the retail industry where companies have firmly embraced the 'commerce everywhere' dimension brought by mobile devices.
As digital mobile capabilities multiply, it’s interesting to consider just what consumers really want from their mobile experience.
Email and search are the most popular smartphone activities behind making phone calls, according to data included in our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.
When asked which tasks they had carried out in the past week, three-quarters of smartphone owners (74%) said email while just over two-thirds (67%) said search.
This again highlights the importance of mobile search, which is predicted to overtake desktop search next year, and shows that brands can no longer afford to ignore the opportunity it presents.
We’ve seen a number of research projects and studies which show that mobile traffic and search volumes are likely to overtake desktop in the next 12 months, however the same can’t be said for sales and conversions through mobile devices.
Instead consumers are increasingly using smartphones for research and price checking, before ultimately making a purchase on desktop or tablet.
We investigated the reasons behind this disparity as part of our new Mobile Commerce Compendium, with the data showing that two-thirds (64%) of smartphone owners who don’t use mobile commerce simply prefer shopping online using a desktop or tablet.
The second most-common reason proved to be difficulties with the small screen size (41%), while 39% said they are concerned about security on their phone.
More than half (57%) of smartphone owners have used their device to search for information while out shopping, according to data from our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.
The most common smartphone activity was comparing prices (63%) with other retailers, followed by looking for a discount voucher online (42%) and looking for product information or other options on a different retailer’s website (34%).
This raises a difficult dilemma for retailers, as the natural urge is to try and prevent customers from shopping at their competitors using the mobile web but in reality it’s impossible to prevent people from doing it.
This time last year I looked at the mobile sites for the UK’s top 20 retailers to see which offered the best checkout process.
I found that there were a number of common flaws, such as forced registration, but in general the standard was quite high.
However I was also surprised to see that eight of the retailers were still relying on desktop sites.
As 12 months has now passed I thought it would be interesting to see whether the situation had changed at all and find out which retailers have made an effort to upgrade their sites.
There is no exact template for designing mobile product pages as the small screen size means its up to each retailer to work out which features are most important for their customers.
On an ecommerce site you can afford to squeeze in almost any feature you want but on a smartphone you need to be more selective.
Even so there are a number of tools and functions that nearly all mobile sites should include, mainly because users expect to see them so leaving them out will damage the UX.
So with this in mind, here are eight examples of great mobile commerce product pages. All of them have flaws but also have features that are worth considering for your own mobile site.
Navigation is central to the mobile user experience as visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for or browse your wares with little fuss.
If they have to struggle with confusing menu options and numerous barriers then they’ll become frustrated and jump ship to one of your competitors.
A new report investigating consumer opinions of mobile commerce has found that there is still a perception that the mobile web offers a poor user experience.
More than a third (37%) of respondents in the EPiServer survey agreed that many mobile websites are difficult to navigate, an increase from 32% in 2011.
With this in mind, here are 11 tips for improving mobile web navigation...
New mobile sites are normally a big deal for ecommerce retailers, but ASOS recently updated its m-commerce store without the need for any fanfare.
I can’t find any official announcements about the redesign other than a tweet from director James Hart.
ASOS has been one of the major success stories in ecommerce and we frequently highlight its services and innovations as examples of industry best practice.
And as we previously reviewed the company’s first mobile site back in 2010 it seems a good time to revisit the site and see how it’s changed, so I took it for a test run using my Samsung Galaxy S2...
With mobile commerce continuing to gather pace through the performance channel, it has been interesting to look back across the past few weeks to analyse the role mobile played over the Easter bank holiday.
With our March stats indicating that traffic through mobile devices reached 21.1% while sales were at 14.2%, it was interesting to see the impact of a long weekend on mobile usage.
We have traditionally seen that consumers turn to mobile devices at weekends. This is not particularly surprising when we consider that office workers step away from their desktops and instead use mobile devices to access the internet.