Ecommerce Websites and New Technology

You have a desktop or a laptop, you have or have seen a smart phone, and with 2011 being called the year of the tablet, I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest trend in computing: tablets. These are three ways a company is likely to interact with their customers. It is important to realize how your site appears on each of these platforms. Now, more than ever, is the time to optimize your website for these rapidly growing trends.

No doubt your website was built by a desktop, for a desktop, but that’s just one portion of a larger image. A majority of people in the United States have a computer which can be broken down into two main categories: Desktops and Laptops. Since your e-commerce site was built on a computer, you probably don’t put too much thought into how people view your website from their own computers.  What looks right to you should look right to them, right? Well, yes and no. Appearances on your site can vary greatly depending on screen resolution and internet speed. A slow connection on a content-heavy site can take a while to load – this can turn potential buyers away. Likewise, formatting your site at one resolution may look completely different on another: try viewing your site at different screen resolutions to make sure your site looks its best on every resolution.

 

Smart Phones are becoming more and more essential to everyday life. It’s hard to walk down a street without seeing an iPhone or the latest Android build. It’s important to realize that they’re your potential customer as well.  Many sites are designing versions of their site with mobile shopping in mind. Whereas desktop shoppers are more motivated to research and find as much information as possible, mobile shoppers want to get in, get out, and move on. It’s important to design a mobile site with that in mind. iPhone Tester allows you to see how your site looks on a mobile phone if you don’t have your own smart phone. (For an example of a mobile-ready site, enter http://m.engadget.com at that site and compare it to http://engadget.com). Keep in mind, most smart phone browsers will zoom out so that all the content will display upon loading.

 

If you haven’t heard of a tablet yet, you will soon. Apple took the concept mainstream with their iPad, and now Android powered devices are gaining steam. Generally speaking, a tablet is the middle ground between a laptop and a smart phone. With the tablet gaining more steam in today’s market, it’s important to realize the implications this will have on your e-commerce site. By optimizing your business for tablets, you’re opening the doors for a number of early adapters who want to test their new device. You can see what your site currently looks like at iPad Peek if you don’t have your own tablet to test with. By simplifying, streamlining information, and optimizing space, your site will be ready to handle all new forms of e-commerce.

 

As a final note, mobile phones and tablets don’t handle Flash content very well, some won’t even load it (iPad and iPhone). It may be wise to move towards more open standards such as HTML5 and JavaScript to ensure all content is viewable to your entire customer base.

 

With these thoughts in mind, there’s no reason why your e-commerce business won’t explode with the mobile market!

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