Should You Optimize Your eCommerce Site for Mobile or Get an App?
Weighing Your Options for Mobile eCommerce
Mobile eCommerce, or mCommerce, has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with consumers expected to spend nearly $104.05 billion by the end of 2015 from their mobile devices. According to a recent report from Criteo, U.S. mobile transactions now account for more than 30% of all eCommerce transactions. By the end of 2015, this total is expected to reach 33% in the U.S. and 40% globally. Additionally, mobile is becoming the preferred purchase device for cross-device shoppers. Because of mobile's growing importance, eCommerce businesses need to address mobile in their business strategies. But should you make your website mobile responsive, or just make an app for mobile users?
Mobile-Friendly Site and SEO
In February Google announced a mobile-friendly update, and on April 21st the update changes were made. The update was made to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages, and penalize sites that do not have mobile optimized pages. While the update only affects search rankings on mobile devices, Google says more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S., so it is in your company’s best interest to make your site mobile responsive.
The Benefits of Apps
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of mobile apps is that consumers like them and they will continue to grow. Apps give an enhanced mobile experience and allow companies the ability to personally engage with consumers through the use of push notifications. Push notifications can be used to send reminders regarding discounts, new products, sales, and other limited time offers. If you choose to have a company app, you will need to figure out how your consumers will become aware of it. Of course, your app will be available in the app store, but you can also notify consumers who visit your site on mobile that you have an app. Lastly, if you have an app, you need to add app store optimization (ASO) into your marketing efforts so that people may find your app.
So What Should You Do?
It is always best to provide the opportunity for your customers to purchase on all devices and screen sizes. Of course, this may not be feasible for some companies because of budgets or resources. That said, Google has essentially made having a mobile responsive site non-negotiable if you want to rank well. Even if Google hadn’t made a mobile-friendly update, your site should always make purchasing as easy as possible. If your site isn’t responsive, you wouldn’t want a consumer’s first interaction with your site on a mobile device, because they will become frustrated and you will lose sales. Additionally, an app should never be the primary shopping experience for a mobile device. Having an app will neither help nor hurt your site’s SEO, whereas neglecting a mobile responsive site does play into your SEO ranking. Sure, you should strive to have both mCommerce solutions. Until you can, make your company site mobile responsive, then later add an app to extend your brand’s reach and provide an alternate, more personalized shopping experience.
Clarity Can Help
Having a mobile responsive website or a mobile app is critical for your company’s success, and saves your customers the frustration of not being able to navigate your site on mobile devices. Clarity has done numerous projects for clients, helping them optimize their sites for mobile and developing mobile apps that fit with a site’s brand. To find out more about mobile responsive design or app development, or to speak with one of our experts, call of click to contact us today!