Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Navigating the World of Mobile Commerce

The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the buying habits of tablet owners – namely that consumers who own tablets have higher conversion rates for online sales than consumers shopping from their PCs. While online shoppers on PCs have an average conversion rate of 3%, tablet owners bought online at a rate between 4 – 5%. Tablet owners also reportedly spend 10 – 20% more on each online purchase they make.

Because tablet owners generally have more disposable income than the average consumer and they purchase more online, retailers are (as they should be) making it easier for those consumers to browse and shop on their mobile devices. These consumers with higher income levels are an ideal audience for home product companies, and tablets provide an ideal avenue to reach them.

Many companies have responded to this growing trend by creating mobile apps for consumers to download. But retailers are seeing that more sales are coming from their websites accessed via mobile devices than their apps. While this does not discount the value of dedicated applications, it does emphasize the importance of good web design and a content strategy focused on accessibility. As many people know, most mobile devices do not support Flash, which is all too often used to create visually attractive websites (Flash can also hurt your SEO, but that is another conversation entirely). Mobile devices also have smaller screens than PCs, and tablet users interact with and navigate websites differently than they would with a keyboard and mouse.
Brands looking to make their websites accessible via multiple devices should not think the only way to achieve this worthy goal is to shell out the money to develop an app. Having a separate mobile website has been a popular solution for many companies looking to go mobile, and in many cases it works beautifully, but mobile websites can create a lot of work for the web department in ensuring content is updated on two sites and maintaining compatibility with the hundreds of mobile devices available. Creating a website using responsive design (i.e. the site uses media queries to detect the type of device being used and display a layout that is optimized for that device) can save much headache and out-of-pocket expense. It also ensures that consumers are viewing the same content regardless of their device. Because the layout of the page is focused on displaying the content in the best way possible, consumers do not have to deal with the hassle of navigating site structures not suited for their screen or system.
Of course, one solution does not fit every company. Some companies have appropriate uses for an app that goes beyond the scope of their website. Other companies need a separate mobile site that displays drastically different content from their main website. Most brands just need to make their sites accessible to consumers on the go. Regardless of your company’s position, your mobile strategy should always start with a consideration of what information needs to be conveyed. Picking the best mobile route to go from that point should be a question of how best to display that content to turn a user into a customer.
Have you seen a company with a stand-out mobile presence? I’d like to hear about it!