November 16, 2010, 10:44 AM

Time to trim your mobile tree

Don’t forget m-commerce when designing for the holidays.

Lead Photo

It was just a few days ago, Friday, Nov. 12, to be exact, when I heard my first Christmas carol of the season. Every year a Chicago radio station changes its regular programming to 24/7 Christmas music. While scanning the radio in the car I hit the station and the effect was like Pavlov’s dog—I heard those jingle bells and my mood immediately notched up a few levels, happy and ready for the season, even if we hadn’t yet neared Thanksgiving.

In retail this year, we’re seeing a trend of merchants offering Black Friday deals weeks before the hurly-burly of the day after Thanksgiving hits. And some retailers are already decorating their e-commerce sites with ornaments and snowflakes and other holiday fare. Like the Christmas carols on the radio, everything is being moved up the calendar, earlier and earlier.

If you’re a merchant, I assume you’re more than ready for the holidays and now into seasonal selling. But have you overlooked anything? Perhaps something small, like, say, your mobile site?

In routine cruising around the mobile web, I haven’t seen any changes to m-commerce sites like I have to e-commerce sites. Maybe it’s a little early yet. But I have to wonder if m-commerce design has been taken into consideration like e-commerce design. Would a holiday theme in any way work well for your products and consequently your m-commerce site or app? If so, do you have one created and ready to go? And if so, how come it’s not already up yet?

You must understand that consumers are engaging in m-commerce and will be using their phones this holiday season in a massive way. Smartphones offer users the entire Internet in the palm of their hands. These tremendous devices will become personal shopping assistants, helping consumers compare prices, locate stores, earn rewards points when entering a store thanks to location-based apps, and perform all sorts of tasks.

What can make your mobile site a regular destination this holiday season? An exceptional customer experience, which begins with design. First impressions mean a lot, so wow holiday shoppers with a great look because you’ll be catching them right in the middle of their holiday activities, and the more festive you are, the more likely you are to make a favorable impression on shoppers. Perhaps you could even incorporate sound into the design with a snippet of a holiday song. There’s a strong link between music and smartphones, after all. Just a thought from someone already having a Christmas carol binge.

If you’ve been busy trimming the big tree, don’t forget about the little one. Mobile is a key player this holiday season, and you want to look sharp. Deck the halls!

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