Internet traffic coming from mobile devices is increasing rapidly. Consumers carry the internet with them now almost anywhere they go, and they use it to do on the fly research about product availability, store locations, and even purchasing itself. To stay relevant and competitive, businesses large and small alike have to keep up with the developing mobile commerce trend or risk becoming obsolete and outdated.
If you are a business owner, this might seem like an intimidating task to tackle, especially if you don’t have an online presence to begin with. There are several steps you can take, however, to make the transition to mobile commerce easier and faster, so you can keep running in the race, and not be outpaced by your competitors.
1. Update your website
Having a website, while a great start, is not enough to be competitive anymore—you need a website that is compatible and optimized for mobile browsing. The good news is that if you don’t have a mobile website, it isn’t very difficult to convert your current website to a mobile format, or build another one that is. Your options are open—just get out there and build something that is easily readable and viewable for mobile customers. Unfortunately, having an app is not enough, because you can’t count on everyone downloading one. Don’t take any chances and put up a mobile site.
2. Monitor the stats
Google Analytics can be an excellent tool when making the transition to mobile sites. It keeps a record of the traffic flowing to your website, and then categorizes it, giving you helpful statistics about who is viewing your website, and from where. Based on the stats you can decide whether mobile commerce is something you should pursue more aggressively—and chances are it is.
3. Streamline your online store
While you’re redesigning your website for mobile compatibility, don’t neglect the transaction section. It may seem obvious saying it now, but it’s easy to overlook that part of the site, or just assume that because it works with desktop browsers it will also work with mobile ones. This isn’t true. There are kinks you need to work out beforehand so that you don’t inadvertently prevent customers from purchasing merchandise from your website. Test the shopping cart experience on several different mobile platforms to ensure maximum compatibility.
4. Put yourself on the map
Google Maps, that is. Customers will very frequently use Google Maps to locate a new store, or a store they’ve never been to, and if your location isn’t listed there, you could lose that very wide mobile customer base. You’ll need to make sure you have the largest range of keyword phrases that return a result for your page. For more information, visit that return a result for your page. For more information, visit Google Places.
There is always something you can be doing to keep you and your business relevant and competitive, but making sure your customers have the best mobile experience possible available to them as soon as you can is one way that you can stay one step ahead of the game.