Thinking about going mobile?
The competition with online printing companies is fierce. There is a tremendous amount of technology being used to attract consumers like online designers, cool API’s, mobile friendly sites, iPhone apps and more. Like any small company, we wrestle with which technologies will provide the biggest ROI. We probably should have had a mobile site running years ago, but we finally made it a priority since smart phone have become so powerful.
Honestly, even as developers, we were skeptical. There were two major factors why we hadn’t yet implemented a mobile website before a few months ago. One, we were unsure if our customers would even bother using phones to search our product. Two, we doubted consumers would follow through with purchasing so why bother?
But now, smart phones are better and more popular than ever and users are utilizing mobile devices for daily activities including m-commerce (purchases completed through a mobile device). Mashable.com reports that worldwide mobile payments in 2009 were USD 68.7 billion and is expected to grow an astounding 800% in the next four years. Think of it this way, years ago people scoffed at what-is-now typical e-commerce. Do you really want to be one of those guys the second time around?
Not to mention, Facebook and other social networks seem to have changed the way we act with our phones tunneling a new level of comfort on portable devices.
If you decide to go mobile, here are some tips we considered with PrintKEG.
1. Use a separate mobile site. This could be debated, but I recommend creating a separate mobile site. If you make a site that is focused on mobile users, then the result will be better. Users with 4″ screens on cell service are far different than those with 25″ screen and mega-bandwith. If you do not have a site at all, then creating a smart CSS driven site (a responsive design) could kill two birds with one stone. Talk to your developer.
Don’t agree with me? Consider this: I wouldn’t use a tri-fold brochure design for my business card or scrape the audio from a television commercial and use it as a radio ad. They are different mediums and should be respected as so.
2. Your mobile site should be functional. Static sites are boring especially on mobile sites. On PrintKEG’s mobile site, people can get prices, order prints and track orders. However, if you can only afford a static site, it is still a good start.
3. Mobile payment method. If you use a third party for credit card transactions, be sure they have a mobile version. We know Paypal offers mobile solutions. This ensures paying is easy for the customer.
4. Keep it simple. This is good advice for any site, but your mobile site should be down to the nuts and bolts. You have less room to work with and need to make sure your customer understands what she is supposed to do.
6. Don’t force your iPad customers to use a mobile site. I love my iPad and commonly curse sites that force me to a mobile site. If your normal website doesn’t work well on the iPad, I recommend starting over or fixing any issues.
7. Once your mobile site is ready, you may attract new customers. We never ran our Google ads for mobile searches simply because our site looked like poo on smart phones. But now, we can accommodate mobile-using prospects while paying less per click since there is less competition on the mobile arena. I don’t know how long that will last, but I like it mucho grande.
8. If you use a content managers (like Wordpress) then you’re in luck. There are plugins that automatically convert your blog for mobile visitors. WPtouch would be one example. This may not work well if you have many customized pages.
We hope you enjoyed this article and look forward to any comments or advice you may like to add. Take a look at our mobile site.