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Monday, September 10, 2012

Is your mobile site up to speed for back to school shoppers?

It’s back to school time, is your site ready to handle the traffic?
Over the past year we've seen quite a few retailers jump on the mobile bandwagon recognizing that mobile shopping is now mainstream. Innovative new social shopping applications like Zoomingo, Wrappand even one launched by Seventeen Magazine, are inspiring a new age of mobile consumers to shop at the tip of their fingers.

According to Keynote Competitive Research’s mobile user survey, 47 percent of smartphone owners use their phones to purchase products and services.The survey also shows that mobile shoppers like their apps, but they like the mobile web even more. Along with the increased number of users shopping on mobile, the tightening of expectations continues when it comes to performance and the user experience.

According to NRF's Back to School Cheat Sheet, 43.8% of U.S. tablet owners will use their tablets to research products and compare prices this season. The survey also found that 28.4% of shoppers with children in grades K-12 will make a purchase with their tablet; slightly more, 34.5%, will purchase college items via their mobile devices.

Considering that 16 percent of mobile users will not return or wait for a website to load if it takes too long  to load and six percent will go to a competitor’s website (Keynote Competitive Research 2012), making sure a site is optimized for mobile is critical for this back-to-school shopping season.
If your mobile site isn't up to speed, here are some basic tips:
  • Considering Data URIs (Universal Resource Identifiers).
  • Lighten the load on your home page with fewer objects and smaller images.
  • Display a clean, simple mobile-friendly user interface. Remove all content a mobile user doesn't need.
  • Optimize your website for the mobile screen following mobile design best practices for better usability and performance.
  • Create a unique site for tablet users. Don't send them to a smartphone or desktop site.
  • Monitor your mobile website's availability around the clock.  Mobile shopping isn't necessarily a Monday - Friday (9am - 5pm) activity.
You don’t want your mobile site to add to the stress of any back to school shopping, so be sure your mobile site is geared up to go.

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