Mobile-optimized sites moves to forefront for retailers
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly prevalent in today's world, as consumers are using them to complete many daily tasks. Many people are taking to their devices to purchase items and services from businesses, which has caused many retailers to begin focusing their attention on the technology. However, merchant websites that are viewed on computers are not the same as ones seen on smartphones and tablets. This means that businesses need to turn their attention to developing mobile-optimized sites as well as attractive designs for connected consumers.
Mobile sites have extra features
Besides creating sites that are able to be viewed effectively on mobile devices, retailers are also offering various features and aspects on these platforms that cannot be accessed by sites designed for computers. This trend was the focus of a seminar at the Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing and Commmerce Forum in San Diego. At the event, several examples of these additional features were showcases, such as the one provided by Walgreens Pharmacy. This element allows consumers to scan their prescription bottles using their smartphone and tablet cameras, and the information is then used to refill the needed medications.
Online retail giant eBay has created a special mobile Red Laser application for Best Buy, which gives shoppers the ability to see discounts and deals being offered by the electronics superstores' retail locations they visit. Another example is Wine.com's iPad app, giving visitors four wheels that can be spun to find which wines they are looking for, as well as an interactive map that is used to search for where certain wineries are located.
"Get rid of the PC paradigm," said Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask, when giving a presentation on the focus of mobile sites. "You can't just shrink and squeeze your web sites for mobile, you've got do things differently. Mobile first means designing for mobile from the ground up."
Mobile retail gaining ground
To gain a better understanding of how important mobile is within the retail industry, businesses only need to look at this year's Black Friday shopping weekend. Bloomberg reports that while not all numbers are yet available when it comes to the totals spent through mobile devices, eBay's amounts were significant. The company saw its biggest mobile shopping day on Sunday, when purchases from devices more than doubled the ones from last year.
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