Don’t confuse mobile readiness with responsive design (RD). Responsive design is a necessity for every single website, especially retailers; it entails “designing” a website in such a way that it “responds” beautifully, quickly, and properly, regardless of which gadget or platform is being used to get to it.
If you created your e-tail shop yourself, with a platform like WordPress, rest easy knowing that RD is built in. However, if you depend on a web design pro or company, have a talk with them pronto about whether and how they address and test continuously for RD.
Unlike RD, mobile readiness is a subcategory that can mean either a mobile version of a website, an app, or sometimes both. Not all e-tailers will benefit from mobile readiness, but it’s certainly something worth considering.
Internet Retailer reports the majority of mobile users spend most of their time on apps. Once you know that, it’s easy to see why having an app might be a great investment. Plus, they’re easier to design yourself and more affordable to outsource than you might think.
Here are a few signs that mobile readiness might be the right move for you now:
1. Analysis shows many of your shoppers are on mobile devices
There are many ways to perform analysis of your website, including free options such as Google Analytics. If you find that a lot of your consumers are using mobile devices to peruse your website, you might think about offering a mobile version and/or an app.
For budget-minded businesses, Hongkiat offers a list of highly affordable conversion solutions to turn your regular website mobile. You can also dictate whether mobile users are automatically re-directed to the mobile version, or they can have a choice of where to go.
2. You have a lot of data to share
You might not need an app if you’re a high-end boutique that doesn’t have more than 50 options at any given time. However, if you carry thousands of products, it can be really confusing and intimidating to try to shop on a small, mobile device.
Sometimes the size of your business and/or inventory can dictate whether or not you ought to embrace mobile readiness.
3. You’ve been asked for it
Whether it was on social media, a focus group, or a comment on your blog, if any of your customers have asked about mobile readiness, listen up. It’s kind of like termites (no offense to your customers): If there’s one, there are likely thousands more.
Also watch for complaints to which mobile readiness would be the solution. Not all customers know how to verbalize mobile readiness or exactly what they’re asking for.
4. You just underwent a growth spurt
If your business is growing, that’s great news, but you have to keep up. The more customers on your site and the more products you add, the slower your site will be.
Make sure your web hosting package is keeping pace and think about the shopping experience from your customers’ perspective. If you were in their shoes, would you want a mobile version or an app?
5. Your SEO could use a boost
Search engine optimization (SEO) and local SEO (LSEO) can both play a part in mobile readiness. Don’t assume you’ll maintain your strong position in search engine ranking just because you streamline.
A good conversion system or mobile website designer will incorporate SEO or LSEO without losing any of your previous efforts.
Remember: you won’t necessarily benefit from mobile readiness just because you’re an e-tailer. But it’s an option to keep revisiting as your business grows, your needs change, and customers evolve to the point of demanding more customization from you.