According to a recent eMarketer report for the US market, annual mobile commerce grew by more than 81 percent, from $13.6 billion in 2011 to $24.8 billion in 2012. Mobile commerce or m-commerce for short, is defined as the overall value of purchases made online using smartphones and tablets.
This shifting trend is set to continue. This year, sales from m-commerce is expected to grow a further 56 percent, hitting $38.8 billion. The use of mobile internet usage will soon overtake traditional desktop and laptop online access. According to Microsoft Tag, we will approach this threshold this year, as sometime in 2014 more people will access the internet from mobile devices than from conventional computers for the first time in the history of the web.
With e-commerce now deeply entrenched in the mobile domain, and location based services growing rapidly in the retail space, making sure your website product content is optimised for an m-commerce customer is more important than ever. This is probably more critical than getting mobile marketing right for your website. Although smartphone and even tablet screens appear to be increasing in size year on year, usability and navigation needs are vastly different for mobile users versus traditional computer desktop and laptop web users. Websites that have been redesigned for effective m-commerce will factor in multiple devices, with content dynamically presented in an adaptable format to suit different screen sizes. Navigation needs will be different too, as finger friendly features such as swipe enabled content can be employed
Many retailers developing are taking advantages of the increasing consumer developing new apps and mobile friendly web sites, but not considering the requirements of product content and product photography in these new platforms.
For a successful mobile shopping experience numerous product content implications need to be considered:
- Improved structured data: browsing is less fun on a mobile screen so improved structured data is required to help users find & filter product through attributes –
- More images showing detail. As the screen is so much smaller, taking closer up images will improve the mobile experience. Great product photography is just as important.
- Better product descriptions: Customers often use mobile devises in dead time e.g. on the bus, in a meeting, or taking a bathroom break. Giving more time to read copy and product descriptions.
- 360 rotations: Product rotations can be well employed as the spin is easier to action with the finger than the mouse
- Video: Similar to product descriptions, video is readily consumed on a mobile device, and as video can increase conversion by well over 50%, this should not be ignored
Considering your content requirements for all mobile form factors and opportunities is a real necessity and should be an integral part of developing a mobile strategy.