Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Spotting old technology being passed off as a Mobile Commerce Solution

With all the Buzz being generated about Mobile Commerce its no wonder everyone is jumping on the bandwagon with Mobile solutions but are they really "Mobile". There are a few simple things to look at/check to make sure you are not getting just a re-packaged set of small formatted PHP pages.

1. Performance: Mobile is all about speed. If your mobile site runs at the same speed or slower than your standard desktop site its not mobile optimized. Page size and speed matter to Mobile users. If your Mobile site takes longer than 1.5 seconds to load there is a problem. It's either the Mobile software or your pages are loaded with to much un-optimized content like images, JavaScript etc.

Check your page load speed here:

2. Repackaged/Repurposed PHP website templates used for Mobile Commerce: While these sites can look quite nice on the outside an easy way to spot them is performance, typically they take a considerable time to load and if you look under the hood on several solutions one of the main problems is using HTML to resize product and UI design elements pulled from the main desktop website. This is a major shortcut that should not be used for a Mobile Commerce site and a good indicator the solution was not designed for Mobile devices.

3. Functionality: It's 2011 right? Why wouldnt your Mobile site support the most basic/common functionality like featured items, floating shopping cart, browsing history or anything else that improves the usability of your site for Mobile visitors? There are hundreds of millions of internet connected smart devices (and phones) that are capable of a full, rich small format experience. The answer yet again may be that the solution was not designed for Mobile devices in the first place.

4. Search: Many of the Mobile Commerce sites I have reviewed have search capabilities that appear to be at least five years old or older. In internet terms this is absolutely ancient. One of the most important functions of your website is search whether it be Standard or Mobile. Requiring exact match to return any product results is absolutely archaic. Great product search capabilities are an absolute necessity for Mobile.



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