Tips For Mastering Mobile Commerce

Looking to go mobile? Just showing up is a large part of the battle, according to Amy Africa, chief imagination officer of ecommerce consultancy Eight by Eight.

In other words, if you have some sort of mobile presence, you’re ahead of the many merchants who still don’t, Africa said in a Sept. 13 session at’s summit in Boston.

The other key areas to focus on with mobile commerce are speed and navigation. Africa noted that navigation is 60% of success on an ecommerce site and 80% to 85% of mobile site success.

What else should you keep in mind with m-commerce? For one thing, esoteric terms do not work in mobile, Africa said “Word connect is huge in mobile.”

Including meaningless categories that don’t help the user find anything is a no-no. She pointed to watch brand Fossil’s site, which has vague and confusing categories such as “Our Favorites,” “Garden Party” and “The Parlor.” Not helpful to the user, Africa said: “Where do you find a pocket watch?”

You should also put your search box front and center—and make it big. Three-quarters of users will take advantage of your search in mobile, Africa said. An auto-suggest function is helpful in mobile, she said, even if it doesn’t work on your regular site, “because users will make more errors on the mobile site.”

Abandoned programs are key in mobile, Africa said. Have a strategy for when users abandoned their shopping cart, their search and your site. Abandoned search programs are more important that abandoned cart in mobile, she added.

Make sure you mobilize, not miniaturize—especially on lead and checkout forms, Africa advised. This is the top reason users who would have made a purchase will abandon: “They just can’t do it.” So look at bigger and fewer fields with mobile, and generally keep it simplistic, clear and bare bones, she said.

And when it comes to actually getting the order via m-commerce, “click-to-call is where it’s at,” Africa said. “Shoppers still aren’t used to ordering on mobile; this is how to get the order.”