M-Commerce as a whole:
This is an excellent, digestible breakdown of said trends. Perhaps the most important thing on here is data from eMarketer about the mass adoption of m-commerce methods amongst consumers, that is, consumers using mobile devices to purchase goods online, usually within a web-browser environment. This ties in with what we already know about the growth in web-browser usage on tablets and mobile-phones as of late. It’s doubly surprising as a trend because browsers were initially considered a secondary environment for users on mobile-devices, but what we’re finding is that whilst app-download and app-store growth continues rapidly, the app ecosystem and the browser-based ecosystem are being used for two different kinds of things.
Apps are being used to explore enhanced content and rich-media in a performance friendly way, whereas web-browsers are being used for the more utilitarian business of ordering products and conducting transactions in general. This will hopefully help developers, marketers and CEOs flesh out “what goes where” when creating mobile-centric strategies. For example, e-commerce sites on a browser supplemented by catalogs or other enhanced, more readable content within an app to add value to the brand.
The importance of responsive web-design:
It also underscores the importance for continued investment in responsive CSS, especially for anyone with an e-commerce site that they’d presumably want to drive significant traffic through. If WebDAM’s infographic is anything to go by, consumers are becoming increasingly impatient with un-optimized mobile sites and the data seems to support the idea that better responsive design can positively impact a company’s bottom line financials, ShopWiki’s mobile clicks jumped 24% after their responsive design revamp for example.
Two excellent case studies in well-made responsive HTML/CSS are Indochino and Suit Supply, both men’s fashion retailers. They manage to bring together a minimal number of assets with beautiful photography that downscales with screen size. Alongside this, Suit Supply are a great example of how to streamline and simplify a navigational element in CSS when viewed on a mobile device.
Despite the initial cost of investing it’s also worth noting that responsive web-design ultimately means less upkeep costs in the long-run, because it requires the maintenance of one code base as opposed to several. On the flipside, it has to stated that the examples given above are of fairly simple retailers selling a much smaller product-line than a huge online merchant that sits across many product verticals like Amazon, for whom responsive design would be a much bigger headache as a result.