With the rapid development of mobile and tablet devices, more and more people are browsing the web with these powerful devices. In merely a few years, mobile and tablet devices are expected to surpass laptops and desktops as the tools of choice to explore the web. Based on a US Digital Media Usage Report by eMarketer, mobile internet users will grow from 97.3 million users in 2011 to 113.9 million users in 2012. That is over 17% growth in a year. These are early growth estimates. I expect the percentage in growth to be much higher. What do these statistics tell online store owners? It is time to invest in a mobile presence.

There are several reasons to go mobile in the eCommerce market including staying competitive with similar retailers, gaining customer loyalty, and the easier development process to adding mobile compatibility.

Staying Competitive

As the population of mobile web users grows, so does the number of mobile eCommerce sites. Online retailers that do not adjust will be left behind. While mobile browsers have improved greatly over the past few years, customers will still find it difficult to navigate full websites that are not designed specifically for mobile devices. A mobile website will offer a more simplified store navigation and a more streamlined search. Developing a mobile site solution will attract more mobile visitors who will shop at your store over the competitors.

Timberland Mobile is a great example of a mobile store done right. The site is easier to navigate and product photos are laid out well for quick viewing on a mobile device.

Gaining Customer Loyalty

Online retailers that make the move to mobile will also develop a strong online following. Establishing a mobile storefront allows customers to access the store from anywhere they are and use the device of their choice to shop easily and efficiently. As the majority of time spent browsing the web shifts from desktop computers to phones and tablets, your store will experience an increase in online following and customer loyalty rather than lose the mobile demographic.

Simplified Development Process

With the emergence of new platforms, like Magento, moving to the mobile web has been simplified. A store's online catalog can be synced seamlessly with a new mobile site or application, keeping all products in one place. All inventory, checkout, and reporting can be kept organized in one system. A mobile commerce site is within reach with the development of these powerful open-source tools. Your customers will have the ability to experience a well-branded, organized store from wherever they are.

When looking at the rapidly growing numbers of mobile shoppers, the need to cater to this emerging demographic is obvious. The success of an online storefront will be directly affected by the implementation of a mobile presence. The eCommerce team at Unleashed Technologies can help make the addition of a mobile store simple and easy. Contact us today to learn more.