by Barry Sloane, President and CEO of Newtek Business Services
Running a business is a 24 hour job. If you’re not at your computer, you’re most likely on your phone. And just like you, the rest of the world is doing the same thing.
A mobile site can be seen and used easily on devices such as tablets and smart phones. What’s more, it does not have to be a completely different site from your original web page. When logging onto your site from a cell phone or tablet, the device recognizes it and renders your page to fit the screen (also known as responsive design). If your site isn’t coded to change its appearance and function with the device, your web page can become hard to see and navigate. This could turn away a lot of would be consumers (hint: really bad idea).
91% of American adults have cell phones, 56% are using smart phones, and 34% own a tablet. Mobile devices are quickly becoming people’s preferred choice for web browsing, getting directions, sending emails, updating Facebook pages, checking Twitter feeds, and, most importantly, shopping. Don’t be left out because “Jane Doe on the go” can’t find or engage easily with your site.
So, what can be done? Enhance your mobile platform, of course! Here are some things to consider:
It would be safe to say that the longer your page takes to load … the quicker your visitor will leave. With everything at one’s fingertips, patience has become a vanishing virtue. Sometimes, this is inevitable because of a user’s carrier service. It’s wise to keep in mind that website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles on a website. Moreover, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings. You can help out the process by reducing the size of your graphics and images.
Think of the view of your site in screen shots. Your site should be built vertically for easy scrolling. Also, navigation bars are a mobile users best friend. Make sure they are easy to find and easy to click. The bigger the clicking target, the less the user frustration, and the longer they will continue to browse on your site. Navigation, user experience, in addition to accessibility are the primary considerations for every design initiative. Meet these requirements as you proceed, and you’re virtually guaranteed site satisfaction.
Even though your viewer is on a mobile site, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a transaction. As long as your checkout window is easy to navigate and has options that scroll, taking transactions on a mobile device can be a breeze. One major pitfall is enlisting too many disparate companies to contribute different aspects of your ecommerce solution. Even if they are good providers, trying to determine who is responsible for a glitch is likely more than anyone would wish to deal with – particularly busy business owners. Do yourself a favor and find an all-in-one solution.
This page, albeit simple, is too important to mess up. There isn’t one business in the world which can afford to miss a single opportunity to connect with an engaged customer. Make sure your contact information is easily found with a clickable email address that opens to a new message. Since most mobile sites are viewed on cell phones, check to ensure that your phone number is also clickable so you can be reached effortlessly.
Barry Sloane is the President and CEO of Newtek Business Services. Mr. Sloane was the founder and President of Aegis Capital Markets, a consumer loan origination and securitization business. Additionally, he was a Senior Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette, where he was responsible for directing sales of mortgage-backed securities and was a senior mortgage security sales person and trader for Bear Stearns, L.F. Rothschild, E.F. Hutton, and Paine Webber.