Creating a mobile-friendly website. Considerations and information for ecommerce vendors to look into.
Last Published: 10/20/2016

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Most of us carry around mobile phones that have the computing power of what mainframe computers had decades ago. We rely on these devices to perform many tasks—including shopping.
The mobile eCommerce trend is global, but buyers in some countries are more avid than in others. Shoppers in mainland China make more such purchases than do shoppers of any other country. According a recent survey buy eBay, 33 percent of all eCommerce orders were placed through a mobile device, including smartphones and other wireless devices, rather than on a desktop computer.
Even if your product photos look great on a regular computer screen, they may appear squeezed or amateurish on a smaller smartphone screen. Fortunately, apps are available to translate your web pages into formats that look good on small-screen wireless devices.
In general, keep the design of your site simple and the pages easy to navigate. Use inviting colors that contrast well. Avoid gimmicks such as text that pulsates or objects that spin. Keep in mind that English is a second language for most of your international visitors. Simplicity, brevity, and clarity are good design principles for all  visitors.
Vendors who provide online stores say that they are “mobile compatible.” Trust, but verify by testing on your own mobile  devices.

Check Out the Checkout

Provide a currency calculator so that buyers from other countries don’t have to search the Internet for one. Collect only the minimum amount of information to prevent data entry frustration. Abandoned shopping carts, which are left when the customer closes the browser and does not complete the transaction, are a common headache for online sellers. They are also a metric that you can retrieve and use to try to determine why customers are leaving your site before hitting the pay button.
Try using your site as a marketing vehicle while conducting transactions offline. Working with a third party, such as the U.S. Commercial Service, to help you attract prospective buyers, to conduct due diligence, and to pass qualified leads to   you. Customers—especially potential distributors in markets you’re new to—will welcome your company’s personal involvement in the transaction. Smaller companies excel at this kind of customer service, and some buyers love and expect  it.
How many tasks your website can perform depends on your products and how scalable you want production and sales to be. If you want to sell and collect payment on your site, you’ll need some tools that are readily available in the eCommerce  marketplace.

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