Optimising a website is the new having a website – think how often you browse and buy on a tablet or phone, or how often you see others doing it.
The US general manager of Alibaba.com said this year that creating a seamless shopping environment on a mobile phone “will be crucial for any business that wants to grow in 2014”.
Shopping on your mobile or tablet – how many people do it?
Statistics show that more people are buying this way, as a quicker alternative to firing up the PC. With a mobile or iPad, it's easy to buy on the go when you remember something, or while relaxing in the evening. These devices are convenient and to hand.
Research company eMarketer predicts that in two years, a quarter of all eCommerce will be done via a mobile device. That's potentially one in four customers looking to buy on their tablet or phone. The famous USA sale day 'Black Friday' is coming up soon – last year figures by Custora High-Growth eCommerce Index showed that 40% of all online shopping was done on mobile devices that day.
Does a website always needs to be optimised?
Usually, yes. It can be pot-luck whether a traditional website created for a typical browser window works on a tablet or mobile. Often it's there in spirit but can look messy – tiny writing, weird buttons, overlapping products etc.
Going back to what Annie Jie Xu of Alibaba said, it is about creating a 'seamless' shop for customers. Think about whether you would continue shopping on something clunky and confusing. Optimisation for eCommerce is about streamlining the process to suit the small and medium sized screens of mobiles and tablets.
Any eCommerce platform is likely to benefit from mobile optimisation, as it makes shopping easier for customers and can lead to a higher conversion rate.
We see mobile device optimisation as a sensible choice, people will keep using phones, and customers will keep buying online, in the easiest way possible. Mobile devices are to hand, they are already turned on, and with an optimised website, it should be hassle free.
In terms of budget, it comes down to what you need and what you expect. Project costs will vary significantly from project to project. We suggest speaking to a software company about mobile app development.
If you're looking for an online shop or eCommerce platform give us a call or send an email – we have worked on various eCommerce projects and have several options to get the most of your budget. Get in touch with us about outsourcing that part of the project. We have experience working with partners and agencies on software products. Call us on 01223 690164 to discuss what you need and how we can help.