Posts Tagged Mobile device

10 million UK consumers have used mobile commerce, problems? Of course!

iPhone & Intel Mobile Device

Image by Frank Gruber via Flickr

When a survey commisioned by Tealef, showed that 10 million UK consumers have used mobile commerce to order products or services through their mobile device I was impressed. I maybe should have been shocked that up 83% of those surveryed had a problem when using their mobile device to order, but I wasn’t.

Even with the speed of adoption of people using mobile devices to purchase items online, many of the platforms or websites simply don’t take into account the usability issues when using a phone to shop. A lot of the larger retailers who have mobile websites have done a good job at presenting the information in an easy to use format, but fall down when it comes to paying or logging into a website.

One pet hate of mine for a lot of mobile websites or apps is the inability to recover a forgotten password. In most cases, the forgot password option isn’t available on the mobile version of the website. This is clearly a security issue in that you could pick up someones for, log on to any site, run the forgot password tool and have the password emailed directly to the phone and volia, you’re in and have the password to probably everything the poor person uses for his life secrets!

But we all know there are simple ways around this. But it seems to be easier for most to ignore this or build in a mechanism for it. That may well be because they’re not sure if mobile is the way of the future. They’re going through a stage of “let’s suck it and see” before putting too much effort into changing how things work.

The problem with that approach is that we are left with a lot of consumers who will end up becoming dillusioned with the whole concept of mobile commerce. If it becomes too labourious to order something through a mobile device, wouldn’t you just prefer to go back to using your PC to order instead?

And that clearly appears to be what’s happening according to this study. A massive 29% of people surveryed abandon the transaction to complete later on their PC! 16% would more likely prefer to use their PC in future and more worryingly, 13% are likely to abandon the transaction altogether and try somewhere else.

I know personally these statistics are not something that are strange to me. As recently as last Saturday I went to put a bet on the Grand National and decided to try out the Paddy Power website. As someone who doesn’t bet very often, in fact once a year, I had completely forgotten the username and password associated with my Paddy Power account that I had used, well last year! Since there was no option to retrieve my password on the mobile device, I had to take out the laptop and retrieve my information from the main website.

In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have bothered at all because I certainly didn’t win! :)

I really can’t blame retailers for getting things wrong on this front – it’s a brand new medium that hasn’t been fully tested. We can only use our experience on how people interact with a browser on a laptop and try to second guess what people will want on a mobile device. We need much testing to really see what makes people tick on a mobile device.

There is one key point in all of this, a lot of people using a mobile device to access the Internet or online stores have probably never even used the Internet or shopped online. This is a brand new experience for them and we should all take this into account when developing our mobile websites and apps.

 

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Google Keyword Tool goes mobile

Google announced last month that over the past two years, mobile searches have grown five-fold. An even better indication of growth in the use of mobile devices for searching is that in the third quarter of 2010, mobile searches jumped again by another 130%. This is a clear indication of the massive and rapid growth of the mobile internet.

I have in the past discussed how I feel it’s time to get your website mobile to make it easier for users to use your website, but more importantly, it’s probably time to start optimising your website to be found in searches by mobile device users.

Google are already a few steps ahead of us all and have added a new key feature to their much loved Google Keyword Tool. You can now use the Google Keyword Tool to build keyword lists for targeting mobile users. As part of the new feature the have given the ability to search for keywords searched for by “mobile WAP browsers” and “Mobile devices with Full Internet Browsers” or of course, just any mobile device at all.

Google Keyword Tool Mobile Search Options

Without doing proper analysis, I can’t tell you for sure if there are many differences in how people search by mobile device compared to a PC. I’d assume there are some significant differences and plan to do some proper research over the coming days.

One things for sure, it’s time to take mobile seriously….

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Mobile Website Design – Is it time to offer a mobile version of your website?

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I guess it’s not really surprising that mobile web browsing is continuing to grow at lightening fast pace. The sheer amount of people who carry a web enabled portable device has grown significantly over the past couple of years. A lot this growth is of course due to the massive success of the iPhone. Like, it wouldn’t be strange if your granny had an iPhone nowadays, yet she probably didn’t have an Internet connection before she owned one!

Of course, browsing the web through a mobile device is by no means a new phenomenon, it’s something that has been available for quite some time. In reality though, most people didn’t bother using the web on their phone to access the Internet and with good reason. One obvious reason, was that it could be quite expensive to access the web on your mobile phone. And secondly, viewing websites on a mobile could be at best, extremely annoying. Websites simply weren’t built to cater for mobile devices.

Even today, most businesses don’t bother providing a mobile alternative of their website. In fairness, most mobile phone web browsers are pretty good at allowing you to view full websites quite easily. However, they are not perfect. Most of the larger and more popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, CNN and Google automatically offer you a slimmed down, mobile version of their website when you visit from a mobile device. Navigating around a pupose built website is always a lot more fun than having difficulty choosing and clicking on links of interest, even with a decent mobile phone browser.

Recently, on one of my own websites I was shocked to notice that over 10% of the traffic to the website (over 1,200 unique visitors) on one given day was from mobile devices. You might say I missed the boat a little, but for me this was a clear indication that the growth in the use of the web from a mobile device now warrants a mobile friendly website.

Look, I’ve been there in the WAP days. I’ve built WAP websites… what a disaster. There were a lot of issues with WAP, but I just don’t see those issues arising with the current state of play. As long as pricing for data packages from the mobile phone providers continue to decrease and people buy web enable devices, it just seems to be the way people will start viewing the web.

73 Million iPhones have been sold since they were launched and I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of those that own one, have also used the App Store to buy an app or two. A process that is very straight forward – in fact probably more straight forward than any website you’ve ever visited. Would you have envisaged many people buying items with their phone, through the web 5 years ago? Probably, but you probably thought it would take more than 5 years to get there!

For me, there has never been a better time to get your website mobile. Things are only going to get better. Already the sale of Android enable phones is out stripping the growth seen by the iPhone. It’s clear to me that the mobile web has arrived and is in full swing!

And of course, developing mobile websites is something we do at 2bscene – so if you have a project, why not have a chat with us and we’ll see where we can help you. Call us on +353 1 2190223

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