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Make them accessible, interesting and integrated, says UR Mobile.
Retailers developing mobile commerce sites should consider three factors when designing sites, all with an eye on spurring a consumer to make a purchase and come back again to spend more, suggests UR Mobile LLC, a mobile commerce technology company.
Retailers should make their m-commerce sites for smartphones accessible and interactive, and connect the sites to e-commerce and customer relationship management systems, says Mike Zserdin, UR Mobile CEO.
The big question about accessibility is whether to develop a mobile app or m-commerce site. “For most retailers, a native app is optional, but a cross-platform mobile web site is a necessity this holiday season,” Zserdin says. “The cost of developing a holiday-specific native app for each mobile operating platform, added to the time delay involved in app stores' approval processes, together with the extra steps required of customers to find, download and manage updates, may take holiday native apps out of the picture for many retailers.”
An m-commerce presence is important for retailers because many consumers are likely to use their smartphones for shopping, especially this holiday season. In the Deloitte 2011 Annual Holiday Survey, 27% of consumers who own a smartphone will use their devices while shopping for the holidays. “Customers are searching from their smartphones, and retailers should make holiday campaigns accessible from and optimized for this channel,” Zserdin says.
Simply creating a stripped-down version of an e-commerce site is not enough–that is why retailers should make their m-commerce sites interesting and engaging, he says. “Mobile web interaction could involve a variety of strategies, including showcasing products through optimized video, making social media connections and share options available, and allowing mobile customers to browse and purchase products in a mobile-optimized format,” Zserdin says.
And, to reduce some hassle for consumers, a retailer should integrate its m-commerce site with its e-commerce systems, Zserdin says. Create simple forms that communicate with all relevant functions and automatically populate fields with billing and shipping information, he says. “For example, payment forms should take information from the retailer’s billing service as well as their online CRM. This removes the need for the customer to fill out separate forms on separate pages to make payments and to request e-mail updates. It also consolidates customer data in the right places, so that retailers don’t have to manually transfer information across databases.”