I hate the phone.
Chances are if you call me, you’re going to get voice mail. Don’t take it personally, I just find the phone to be an annoyance.
I hate voicemail.
If you leave me a message on voice mail, I’m not going to listen to it either. That’s what the “Missed Call” thingie on the phone is for. I don’t need to waste three minutes, trying to remember a password, punching it in, hearing some recorded voice tell me I have X number of new messages and to press this button to listen to those messages only to hear, “It’s me, call me back.”
God, it’s annoying.
I politely told someone the other day not to leave me any more voice messages because I don’t listen to them.
“Then why do you have a phone?”
I had to stop and think about how I would answer that question for a moment. I began to think about the different things I use my phone for besides making or receiving phone calls.
- Answering senseless text messages
- Taking photos
- Ordering a pizza via the Dominos app
- Wasting time on the Internet
- Listening to music
- Making a dinner reservation via the Open Table app
- Checking my flight status
- SEARCHING for a product
- BUYING the product
Searching and buying a product is something that more and more consumers are doing from their iPhone, iPads and Android phones. I hate to admit it, but the one eCommerce store who makes it very easy to purchase from your mobile device is Amazon.com.
Oh, stop calling me names. I know Amazon.com is Satan to eCommerce store owners, but you can’t ignore them. They’re going to be around a hell of a lot longer than you are, so learn to live with them as your chief competitor.
Amazon.com has an app that makes looking for a product, putting it into your cart and checking out using their “one click” gizmo so simple even the fired cavemen from the Geico commercials can do it. If that doesn’t scare you as a store owner, it should.
As we move into the holidays, more and more shoppers are going to be using their phones to do more than call Aunt Edith and wish her a Happy Thanksgiving. The number crunchers over at Gartner Research say sales from mobile commerce is going to reach $11.6 billion this year. That’s a huge number. And it should be a number that screams, “you want a piece of me?”
If you’re selling online and you haven’t shown some mobile love to your shoppers yet, now is the time to get moving. Most eCommerce store platforms have already included, in some form, a mobile store as part of your monthly hosting. However, Yahoo! Store owners are left in 1999 again by not having the ability to have a mobile site without using a 3rd party provider like Unbound Commerce or Fast Pivot – both of which are very good.
Having either one of these companies build you a mobile version of your store doesn’t take a whole lot of time, but both come with additional monthly fees which you should be able to recoup by capturing those mobile sales you may have been missing.
A mobile site is essential for iPhone, Android and other smart phone users. As an iPad user, I get infuriated when I reach a store or website that has been “optimized for iPad.” These optimized sites are often times more difficult to use as the site features have been scaled back when they don’t need to be. For the most part, an iPad will load your store (with the exception of Flash based elements) just like it would be loaded on a desktop computer. Having an iPad or tablet version of your website, to me, is a waste of money – money that can be used on providing your smart phone shoppers with a better experience.
Just because you invest in a mobile site doesn’t mean that you’re going to get bombarded with people ordering on their phones. Less than half of smart phone users have used their phone to place an order, but they may be using their phones to learn more about your products, check for availability or even to find your phone number and make a call to order something over the phone.
If you get a handful of additional orders a month that came from your mobile site you should say to yourself, “those are orders I could have lost because my site wasn’t mobile friendly.”
Mobile commerce is only going to continue to grow year over year and the longer you wait to jump on the bandwagon and get your site up to speed, the longer you’re not going to grab a piece of the pie.
And don’t we all like pie?