Analyzing the Impact Mobile Will Have on Holiday Shopping
The scorching heat of summer makes it difficult to even think about December, but the holiday shopping season will be here before we know it. Innovation in e-commerce is perpetually changing the way consumers shop. Merchants need to pay close attention to industry trends if they hope to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The impact that mobile will have on holiday shopping this year will be unlike anything we've ever seen. According to comScore, more than 234 million Americans own mobile devices. Even more staggering is Cisco's prediction that the number of internet-connected mobile devices on the planet will outnumber humans in 2012. Smartphones and tablets offer a level of accessibility and user engagement that can't be matched by any other platform, which is why brands and merchants need to make mobile their priority.
Optimizing the Mobile Web
Effective mobile strategy begins with setting up a mobile website. Apps are certainly valuable, but to be relevant all you need is an optimized mobile web experience. Most consumers say they do research and prefer to shop using a mobile website instead of apps, as browsing and searching for products is second nature to them. It's up to retailers to optimize that experience or risk losing sales to their competition.
Mobile, by nature, is larger in its reach and potential but smaller in its appearance. A robust web experience that looks great on a PC will clutter the smaller displays of smartphones. Mobile users need information that's easily accessible on sites that are simple and intuitive to navigate. Today's content should be tailored to fit every touchpoint consumers visit, particularly on mobile devices.
Consumers are using mobile websites to shop, gather information, take product tours, read reviews and make purchases. The entire experience, from initial search through completed transaction, can all happen in the palm of one's hand. Retailers that assume their regular website will suffice or think they can get away with creating a mobile landing page that ultimately directs users to their standard web content are bound to miss out in a big way this holiday season and beyond.