Leveraging Technology

How to optimize e-commerce sites for mobile access

Experts say that a mobile website can build or destroy your business. The current internet users want information as fast as they tap on their phones and not in 30 seconds. They as well want it clear and concise.Through the mobile phone, everything in e-commerce is changing. In the current digital era, it doesn’t matter if you are ready or still lagging behind but the reality on the ground is that consumers able to access your website via their handheld devices. The only unfortunate bit with the Kenyan SMEs is that only a small percentage of retailers have a mobile technology enabled site mobisite according to a survey by Microsoft Tag, a mobile barcode scanning app maker. From that, if you’re not one of the few businesses with mobisites, then you are missing an important chance to interact with customers, boost your sales and grab your share of this hungry market.

It is surprising that the mobile commerce technology has been in operation for over 10 years, but of late only a handful of small businesses (especially retail) primarily used mobile as an extension of their online catalogs. Most of these firms use the mobile to send notices and other promotional messages to drive traffic to their retail stores.

Kenyan SMEs should now try to modify their websites to also function in mobile environments. A look into the many retail sites shows bulky content that subdivided into categories. Therefore, squeezing this content into a 5 inch screen is not an easy challenge. So, question is, how do the site developers do it to make sure their retail web apps perform well when accessed on a mobile device?

A well designed mobile website should look different but will not necessarily require a separate platform. However, your mobisite need to act as an extension of your company brand and as such, should include such outstanding features as the company’s image logo and maybe products.

Here are outlined tips that should help any SME to improve the mobile website:

When designing business mobisite, always consider the standard size of a normal phone’s the screen size. Most mobile phones have a typical screen size of about 4 inches. This therefore indicated that when building your mobisite, you must maximize the limited screen area by removing clutter. Although the screen size of a mobile device is relatively smaller compared to the desktop, the image resolution is usually very high. It is therefore important to remember to preserve image clarity and ensure that the images are clear even on the mobile devices. It is also advisable that you consider the mobile web toolkits to provide the common navigation elements so that you focus on the uniqueness of your site.

Your mobile web needs to be simple and essentially ‘free of fat’. Meaning that you should keep the pages simple. You have to focus your site’s features on the most necessary icons and functions. Having a simplified approach gives users the best experience since it will be quick in navigation as well as free of content bottlenecks. Basically this means that you should just give unique descriptions of your products, in the shortest way you can.

Your mobisite should not be dense with content but open in a streamlined process. Heavy, dense pages with lots of data drags your speed hence discouraging users from flipping through to the next pages. Light pages with minimal content will speed up the load time and enhance performance. Avoid flashes but consider using static icons instead.

The checkout process on your mobisite should be as short as possible in order to facilitate a transaction once a client decides to make a purchase. The nonessential steps that may be on your mobisite checkout process slows the transaction process and may likely result in lost sales. Mobile technology users are always in a hurry. Make the sale or be sorry!

Mobile browsers also matter a great deal. You are likely to forget about browsers while making your site mobile-friendly, but overlooking the role they play can cause serious performance lags. It is important to build your mobisite to send content in a way tailored to various mobile browsers. This action will help in avoiding bringing down the browser with page data that it can’t handle. You may consider using a mobile-only multi-part style sheet to keep these pages light.

In conclusion, although the above tips are helpful, it calls for determination and patience for you to create a mobisite. This process is demanding but is worth a try.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Mobile web development is empowers businesses. Website to mobile website leverages this advantage further. Mobile web is the order of the day now.

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