Alibaba’s Tmall Global now features goods from 14,500 overseas brands, 80% of them selling in China for the first time.
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So a retailer may create a gallery that enables customers to swipe pictures from left to right, a very app-like feature. The latest version of Android, 4.0, supports that feature but version 2.3 of Android does not. That means ensuring the existing HTML4 site is ready to go for platforms that have yet to catch up with HTML5.
Another hurdle stems from existing e-commerce and m-commerce systems.
"Businesses already have e-commerce and content management systems. But those were not always made with HTML5 in mind," says Faletski of Mobify. "A lot of developers want to use more HTML5 but because they don't have control over some of the code in the e-commerce and content systems, they cannot."
But as HTML5 becomes more common, these challenges will dissipate: the standard will be finalized, all players will be working off the same standard, and vendors will incorporate the language into their systems. The language simply is the next logical step after HTML4, and it presents so many benefits that companies will not be able to resist, experts say.
"When the user interface is more convenient to use, that will lead to higher adoption, and higher adoption will yield higher comfort, which will yield higher sales," Kraus says. "A strong mobile strategy backed up by HTML5 is going to become key."
HTML5 is the future of creating mobile commerce sites. Smartphone users want to be able to use all the gestures they can use with an app, and they expect high speeds and the latest innovations. Retailers that grab on to HTML5 now will gain an edge over competitors, an edge that some ground-breaking merchants today are showing leads to more business.