Best Practices for Mobile Retail Websites

With the growing popularity of mobile devices equipped with instant internet access, retailers need to adapt to keep up. Making your retail site mobile-accessible allows you to reach millions of potential customers whose primary means of accessing the internet is through their mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, you could be missing out on potential customers and sales.

There are a number of methods for creating a mobile website. Which option is right for you depends upon your retail specific needs, how much you’re willing to spend, and how well you avoid potential pitfalls.

Mobile Website Options

Knowing your needs, especially for browsing and purchasing, can help you determine which development option is best for you.

  • What are the specific needs of your retail site? Some sites can be converted to be mobile-friendly, depending on their size and how they are built.
  • How much are you willing to spend? Some sites, even though they function well on a desktop computer, don’t lend themselves to being converted to mobile. In that case, you may want to outsource the work to a reputable web design company with experience in building and optimizing product heavy mobile sites.

Ease of Use

You want your mobile site to be easy to use, both for you and for your customers. Whether your mobile site simply offers the bare essentials about your company or provides a plethora of products available for immediate purchase, it has to be easy to navigate.

  • Customers prefer to browse products that are displayed catalog style. If your mobile site looks cluttered or disorganized, this will reduce its effectiveness as a marketing strategy.
  • Near field communications (NFC) technology makes it easier than ever for customers to make purchases from mobile retailers. Consider adding this feature to your mobile site.

Potential Pitfalls

Having a mobile site is a great way to reach new customers and advertise your product, but if not executed properly it can also be detrimental to your business. High-speed wireless internet access has accustomed users to fast page load times. If your mobile site takes more than 3 seconds to load, potential customers will “surf” somewhere else.

  • Test your mobile site on a variety of devices to ensure that it is compatible with various platforms and both older and newer phones. Nothing drives a customer away faster than glitches, broken links, and failed code.
  • Beware of object and java script, which drains both bandwidth and batteries and can interfere with customers’ ability to receive calls while browsing.

Don’t forget to set up analytics software for your mobile site. Analytics software helps you optimize your site for turning high traffic into effective purchases.

Whether you develop your mobile site with a plugin, downloadable tool, conversion software, or outside web design company, it can directly increase your business’ online presence and sales. Consider your site’s needs and your company’s budget before deciding on an option. No matter what option you choose, be sure that your site is easy for customers to use and navigate.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for Resource Nation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as call center software and small business loans. 

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