9/01/2009 12:09:00 PM
“Call me, anytime. Call me, call me, any day or night. Call me!” implored Blondie. But, nowadays, cell phones are used for so much more than just calling. According to comScore, more than 63 million people in the US use the mobile internet, with 35% of those people accessing the mobile internet daily, which is more than double the figure from last year. 
This exciting growth presents a golden opportunity for retailers both big and small, national and local, to reach out to their potential customers no matter where they are searching. Many of the larger ecommerce players have mastered the mobile experience for their users, but we’d like to provide you with a few observations to ensure that you’re making the most of your mobile presence no matter the size of your retail venture:
1) MAKE IT EASY TO USE: You don’t need to have an iphone or android app to be effective with ecommerce online. In fact, comScore estimates that only 12% of the cell phone population in the US uses smartphones currently. So, the goal is to create an experience for your customers that is as easy and convenient to use as your regular website, no matter what type of device the user is on.
Most importantly, you must have a great landing page experience that spans device type. Easy navigation is critical. If the user is confused or frustrated, they are gone. Login and stored information (such as billing and shipping info) must also be the same over the air as online--the ecommerce experience should be seamless. Finally, use Google Analytics, a free tool, to improve your abandonment rates. GA can segment out mobile users, so you will be able to see trends and spot holes in your mobile site’s functionality.
2) MAKE IT EASY TO SAVE OR SEND SEARCHES FROM PHONE: To be able to capitalize on every transaction intention your users may have, enabling search or cart storage as well as the ability to email/sms product information to themselves is key. The nature of mobile search and ecommerce is such that many users are not able to or unwilling to pull the trigger on a transaction while on the go (say, while driving 95 down I95).
By making it simple for the user to access their saved searches when they reach their desktop, you create another chance to bring your customer to the cash register. Additionally, adding an “email it to me” or “remind me” functionality to your site not only allows the user to re-access their desired product/shopping cart information from their desktop, but it also allows you to capture their email address or phone number in one easy step for future remarketing messages.
3) MAKE IT EASY TO REACH YOU: Google has made it easy for retailers to advertise both online and on mobile devices, reaching out to searchers no matter where they're searching from. Google Mobile Ads allows you to extend your marketing campaign online via AdWords. In addition, we’ve recently launched Location Extensions, which dynamically attach your business address and phone number to your adwords ads. By providing a physical location or a linked phone number to enable a one click call, your potential customers can find you in person. The most important thing is to provide a means for the user to reach you and purchase from you, no matter if it’s online, on the phone, or in person.
As Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP of Product at Google recently said, desktop and mobile internet experiences are complementary. “Desktop ads are higher during the week…while conversely, mobile search volume soars on the weekends, when people are away from their desktop or laptops.” Creating an easy to navigate and familiar mobile internet experience is key to unlocking the millions upon millions of searches performed daily on cellular phones. Being wherever the search is happening with the right information at the right time is the ultimate goal. You wouldn’t want to miss that call, would you?
 comScore Press Release, "Mobile Internet Becoming A Daily Activity For Many," March 16, 2009.