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Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?

Have you been dragging your feet on a mobile version of your site or upgrading to a responsive template design?  If you have, you are not mobile friendly and it could affect your traffic and sales in the future.  Beginning April 21, 2015 Google will begin incorporating your sites mobile-friendliness into its ranking algorithm.

If your answer to the question in this articles title, Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?, is no, then you need to take some immediate steps to move in that direction.  Here at OBN we have approached mobile in a few different ways over the years.  We have always known that mobile would be the preferred interface of customers in the future, and since 2008 have taken steps to optimize our solution for mobile users.  Aligned with the likes of Amazon and Ebay and other major retailers, the OBN approach to mobile has been to develop mobile specific website versions and designs.

17% of firearms retailer website traffic comes from a mobile device.

Our Basic and Gold level solutions have the option for a mobile version of the website.  This slick little add on not only changes the way the site is viewed on mobile sized devices automatically, it also allows for a complete mobile specific website and interface customization.

Our legacy (V5 and below) Ultimate level platform has always had an included mobile version.  Some users may not have turned it on yet, but if you haven’t, you should. The new OBN CloudCommerce V6 Ultimate level platform has two native mobile options.  It can utilize the embedded mobile site, or choose from a selection of responsive e-commerce templates.

The time has come to make sure you have a mobile plan, not only for your users ease of navigation, but also for SEO.  As this is now a ranking factor, your site will be left behind if you do not make the appropriate accommodations.  If you aren’t sure of your websites status, Google provides a tool to check your website here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you need  help implementing a mobile solution contact us today and we will get you moving in the right direction.

Are you Mobile for 2014?

In today’s society people are always on the go, but having the technology at hand allows them to access the internet by their mobile device. The ability to access the internet with their mobile device has create a new platform for marketers and retail stores to accustom to. It is crucial for your retail store to have your website become mobile device friendly. Did you know that 46% of all online sales come from a mobile device? If your company is not mobile device friendly in 2014 you, could potentially be missing out on almost half of your online sales.

Customers reaching out to your website through their mobile device want to be able to access and navigate your mobile friendly site with ease. Therefore, it is important for your website to display only the necessary information that you want them to see that they can view on their mobile device. Doing this directs the customers to the products or categories that you want to sell the most. On top of having an easily navigable mobile device site, you must incorporate a simple check out system so your customers can buy their products in a minimal amount of time.

Other than making your website mobile device compatible, you must consider other areas where you solicit your company such as email and newsletters. In 2013 65% of all email and newsletters were opened through a mobile device and has been predicted to increase in 2014. Therefore when sending out company newsletters with your coupons, deals, or anything else you must consider making them mobile friendly as well. This way you can get a higher opening percent rate and potentially drive more customers to your online or into your store.

Following those simple guidelines your company could see an increase in sale during 2014.

Common Mistakes in Ecommerce

I talk a lot about things to do to improve your e-commerce business. Here are some things that some “e-tailers” do wrong.

1.) Relying on limited sources of Traffic.
I have said in the past that traffic is the key to Ecommerce success. Often time’s business owners get into a comfort zone once the get a little success and are reluctant to move out from that. With the way that Google constantly revises their algorithms that comfort zone will move right out from under you. Owners need to constantly seek out new sources to drive traffic to their sites. Traffic needs to come from and be balanced from several sources. Pay-per-click, social media, partner sites, blog, forums, email campaigns, actual foot traffic are all things that you should participate in. Rely too heavily on any one source and you may find yourself hurting down the road.
2.) Focusing on limited or current products.
We have seen this specifically in the firearm industry. So many companies only knew how to sell guns and ammo. Often it wasn’t a matter or “knowing” how to sell them at all it was simply that there were that many people buying them that even a poorly run ecommerce site could move these products. Well when the supplies of guns and ammo dried up many merchants were standing there with no new sales because they couldn’t get their hands on the 2 products that did so well for them. Their numbers dropped and many had to call it quits. The savvy owners were more prepared and quickly started promoting different items & categories in new and exciting ways. They constantly promoted a new batch of products to consumers.
3.) Letting your website sit unchanged.
I see this over and over again. Merchants set up an on-line store and then forget about it. Take a look at the larger companies out there…….take Wal-Mart or Cabalas’ for example. Every single day companies like these have something new on their site. This is simple to draw people in on a daily basis to promote new products. Consumers have become accustomed to going to websites to find new products, information etc on a regular basis. If you let your site sit unchanged it is obviously boring but more importantly you aren’t giving potential customers a reason to return. It doesn’t take much to keep it interesting it just has to be done.
4.) Not paying attention to site performance.
This is simple. If you aren’t looking at your sites analytics and understanding them there is a good chance you are wasting a bunch of time and money. It would be like slapping a scope on a rifle and never taking it to the range to ensure it is performing properly but expecting it to hit the bull’s-eye. E-commerce sites are no different. You need to know what is going on or you can never improve on your current course of action.
5.) Ignoring customer input.
We all have ideas about the types of things we think sell best or how we want to make our sites look. I propose you survey your customer base and ask them what they want to see. Reward their feed back with a small discount code. Don’t just listen to a handful of clients but rather get the biggest sampling you can. The more people you have data from the better.
6.) Live by promotions and you will die by promotions.
Short term at calculated times super discount promotions are fine. Over the long haul though the most important things are going to be good content, new and amazing products and above all else the best customer service in your industry.
7.) Not getting on board with Mobile Commerce.
Consumers in record numbers are shopping online with smart phones and tablets. This is simply put the future of e-commerce and anyone who doesn’t embrace this technology will be left in the dust. Another point is that mobile technology is how an overwhelming number of consumers are finding your brick and mortar location. So be sure your site is mobile friendly.
8.) Not paying attention to your competition.
You must watch your competition. You can learn a great deal from them to see how they are optimizing there sites, what they are selling, what they have on clearance (because it didn’t sell) and how they are ranking. If you come up in Google on a search page and there are other businesses above you they are doing a better job promoting their website. Take some cues from them and see what you can do to improve on your sites performance.

Obviously there are other pit-falls in the world of business and e-commerce but these are few things for sure to pay attention to. Again if you wish to learn more about these topics I encourage you to call us and talk to our team. 1-800-699-0820 ext 1

Mobile Sites: Breaking out of the Computer Box

Getting your business onto the internet is old news. We all know that it is important to have  brand representation online with social media, full functioning websites and plenty of user-friendly content. However, internet forecasting shows that in addition to your website, you need to be putting time and energy into a mobile site as well. Statistics show that smartphones are the number one source for all Facebook users, instead of computers. If Facebook, the largest social network on the face of the earth, is experiencing a trend in mobile usage, the rest of the internet is soon to follow.

The main problem with Facebook mobile is that the app does not include any of the ads that the full site does. So your business had better have a page if they want to be seen by smartphone Facebook users. And wouldn’t it be great if someone on their smartphone was looking at your Facebook page and there was a link to your site and it was mobile? You could streamline the experience for the user in a way that would encourage them to visit your site more frequently and spend more time there when they do visit.

Before you start a mobile site, there are some things you should consider:

1. What’s the point?

Your mobile site should have a focus and an objective. Are you trying to make the customer experience better when people try to purchase from your site? Do you want to streamline the ordering process so it is accessible from a smartphone? Think of some of the things you want to achieve by having a set plan. Here is an example of how ticketsnow.com used a mobile site to their advantage.

2. Who is your audience?

Is the mobile site for your customer? Is it for someone who is already loyal to the company, or are you creating something that will help attract new business? Developing a target audience for your site is crucial. Does your target demographic use smartphones? Keep all of these things in mind when designing and implementing the site. Remember, you want it to be easy to use.

3. How can you make it fresh?

An important thing to remember when creating your mobile site is that it should reflect the branding properties of your existing site. The mobile site is an extension of the internet image that you have already created for yourself. However, mobile sites should give a fresh, simple adaptation, showing your versatility to customers who already are familiar with your brand. Make it something that is easily identifiable as being related to your site, but also take that branding to the next level by creating a cohesive subsidiary to your pre-existing image. Google offers some insights and best practices here.