Sheri Hebbeln
 
February 19, 2014 | eCommerce | Sheri Hebbeln

Will your mobile commerce see growth in 2014?

Over the course of only a few years, e-commerce has become a significant source of revenue for retailers, and this has given way to mobile commerce. Wineries that want to maximize their online wine sales may need to reassess their website designs to take advantage of this growing trend. 

One of the major drivers of mobile commerce is the rapid adoption of tablets. These devices have already overtaken PC sales, and technology industry experts believe 2014 will be the year tablets permanently assert themselves over PCs, according to Tech Radar. When the iPad was first introduced, tablets were dismissed as ridiculous, but they have proved to be highly useful and versatile. As new companies introduced them, the price has decreased, making them more accessible to a wider audience. In addition, many computer manufacturers are producing increasingly smaller laptops, which is blurring the lines between PCs and tablets. 

Tablets will matter a great deal more for e-commerce retailers because people are more likely to use them from home, the article said. With their larger screen size compared to smartphones, desktop websites may display adequately from tablets, but consumers interact with these devices in a different way. While browsing for different products was common from mobile devices, many retailers believed customers were returning to their desktops to make the final purchase, but this isn't the case anymore because mobile purchasing is more common. If you sell wine online, it may be a good idea to consider responsive Web design to provide a more consistent user experience to your customers. 

Responsive Web design boosts e-commerce conversions
Online wine sales represent a significant opportunity for you, particularly because you can reach customers who have never visited your winery before. However, it's hard to guess what types of devices your target audience will use to access your site. When executed properly, responsive Web design can help you gain more sales. Internet Retailer cited the example of one e-commerce site that not only increased conversion rates on tablets and smartphones, but also boosted sales from laptops and desktops. 

Even if customers aren't purchasing from their mobile devices, your winery's website needs to be accessible and user friendly. Internet Retailer found that 44 percent of the time consumers spend interacting with an online retailer is from a smartphone. If your site isn't easy to use and navigate when shoppers are browsing for product information, they aren't likely to return and make a purchase from any device. 

Responsive design can also cut down the time and money you spend on website maintenance. The emergence of mobile devices used to mean that retailers had to create a separate version of their websites, and any time updates were made, someone would have to make the same changes on the mobile site as well. This was a time-consuming process and made it easy for things to slip through the cracks. 

In addition, responsive Web design can lead to better search engine optimization results. Maintaining a separate mobile site means search engines have to track multiple URLs, which makes it hard for online retailers to boost their rankings, according to MediaPost. Site loading speeds are a primary factor in poor user experience, and this technique can help pages display more quickly on mobile devices. This can keep visitors on the website and increase the chances that they will purchase. Mobile devices are becoming a more significant part of consumers' lives, and wineries shouldn't ignore this trend and the need to provide a high-quality experience on their websites. Responsive design makes it easier to stay consistent across multiple platforms. 

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