Developing Mobile Interfaces for Ecommerce Websites
November 30th, 2012 By:Tavis J. Hampton
Ecommerce has become a major part of the global economy. Just after the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, comes what has now become known as “Cyber Monday” and even “Cyber Week”, when companies try to drive up profits even further by encouraging shoppers to shop online for major discounts. Coupled with the growth of online shopping is the widespread adoption of mobile platforms for general web usage. More than ever, it is critical for online businesses to provide some form of mobile interface for their Ecommerce sites.
The most common way to reach out to mobile users is to provide an app. Many retail and online store websites provide iOS and Android apps for their websites that allow users to shop, share and review items, and check orders. The apps are usually free, given to customers with the hope that they will encourage more shopping. Some companies may even unique separate apps for tablets (iPad, Google Nexus 7, etc.) and smartphones (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S3, etc.)
The Mobile Website
The alternative to the app is the mobile website. An app must be developed for a particular operating system, whereas a mobile website need only work on a smaller screen size and is often better suited for a touchscreen interface than a standard ecommerce site. With advancements in HTML5 technology, it is now easier than ever to create a web-based app that functions much in the same way a native app would. The advantage is that the business only has to develop for one platform, which can save money and time. The disadvantage is that you may sacrifice some of the native functionality of the OS, such as notifications and integration with other apps.
Regardless of which method of mobile interface development you choose, it is important to have something for your customers, as some of them may soon only access the web from mobile devices. Keeping those customers coming to your ecommerce store will give you a serious edge over the competition that fails to do the same.
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