Archive for June, 2010

Kony study: Companies give high priority for offering mobile web

Kony Solutions, did a survey in 119 large corporations and it inferred that 61% of the respondents planned to incorporate sales and commerce capabilities into mobile offerings.

The companies also helped in giving an insight apart from the sales and commerce functions.

Informational resources were 75% of the whole, brand awareness was 61%, and customer service and support was 56%-were components of their mobile strategy.

There were also clear cut strategies that were demonstrated by various segments. For example, retail companies clearly were the respondents who chose mobile commerce capabilities, and was at the higher end at 82%, travel and hospitality businesses came in second with 58%.

The study also highlighted that companies consider offering a mobile website to be the highest priority. Around 73% of the respondents agreed to this. Downloadble mobile applications came a close second and messaging as a VAS was another close contender.

Raj Koneru, founder and CEO of Kony Solutions says, “It’s clear that the mobile landscape has created a unique, complicated and costly problem for consumer-centric organizations; however, it also offers lucrative opportunities.”

He also adds, “Companies are unclear as to how best to balance the cost of developing and deploying mobile offerings across multiple devices with the need to reach the widest range of consumers. Consumers facing businesses need to implement mobile solutions in the near term or risk disengagement. Additionally, the potential revenue stream and brand awareness from mobile offerings is too great to be ignored.”

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Importance of usability in e-commerce websites

According to the “Revolutionizing Website Design” report from digital marketing agency Oneupweb, Web users expect a lot from shopping sites, but their focus is on the fundamentals that facilitate purchasing.

Clearly presented pricing and shipping information, for example, is the most important feature of e-commerce sites, followed by indications of credibility and trustworthiness. Visual appeal and functionality like cost calculators and search were also relatively important. But advanced features such as live chat and social hooks were important to but a small minority of respondents.

While Facebook “like” buttons may facilitate viral sharing of product pages, online retailers concerned with conversion rates, failed transactions and shopping cart abandonment will have other priorities.

Oneupweb found those problems were relatively big ones for e-commerce sites. Task completion failure rates were higher than on travel sites, business-to-business properties or higher-education Websites.

Further, while e-commerce abandonment rates were relatively low compared to the other categories studied, their failure rates were highest.

iPerceptions found in 2009 that while overall task completion rates on e-commerce sites were high, they dropped significantly when visitors went to the sites specifically to buy. Those just looking to learn about products were better able to accomplish their goals and ended up better satisfied.

Also in 2009, Web performance monitoring firm Gomez reported that just one or two bad experiences could turn online shoppers off forever, making these usability concerns a priority for online retailers.

dotMobi launches goMobi, mobile website creation tool

dotMobi, the company behind the “.mobi” domain, unveiled goMobi, an easy to use mobile website creation tool. The company argues that the new solution brings together the breadth of traditional content management systems with the speed and simplicity of mobile website builders. In other words, you don’t need to be an expert in order to create and maintain your (your company’s) mobile website.

Among the cool features included in the solution is the ability to detect website visitor’s mobile phone and serve appropriately formatted content. By default, goMobi produces easy to use, icon-based websites, but there are also options to make further customizations.

For more experienced developers, there’s a “powerful suite of tools” which allows them [developers] to control the automated transformation of desktop website content to mobile-friendly content as well as accessing HTML metatags for site items, along with a mobile/desktop switcher and advanced device detection capabilities.

You can access goMobi’s website from your computer at goMobi.info and at go.mobi on mobile devices.

Mobile web users in China

According to eMarketer there will be more mobile Internet users in China than the entire population of the US by the end of this year.

For your reference, the 2010 estimate of the size of the United States population stands at roughly 310 million people according to Wikipedia, so that’s a whole lot of people browsing the Web from their phones right there.

The report, which you can purchase here, also says the number of mobile Internet users in China will grow fast to reach a staggering 957 million, and that the country will count approximately 1.3 billion mobile subscribers by 2014.

eMarketer points out that those mobile Internet users do not currently monetize as well as smaller mobile audiences in, say, the States, which means that mobile advertising spending levels in China are still low relative to the size of the mobile Web user base. Also, the company highlights another key trend in China, which is that mobile subscriber growth is actually slowing while mobile Internet user growth is accelerating.

U.S. Open Golf Site Draws 500 Percent Increase In Mobile Site Visitors

Mobile Web usage continues to grow by leaps and bounds as smartphones with large touch screens become the new normal. One quick data point comes from the United States Golf Association and IBM, which runs its Websites. During the 2010 U.S. Open golf tournament last week, 1.7 million people visited the U.S. Open’s mobile site, a 518 percent increase from last year. In contrast, the regular site saw only 4.2 million visitors, during the week, up 8 percent.

In other words, nearly 30 percent of traffic to the U.S. Open site was from mobile devices. The fact that golf fans didn’t need to fire up their laptops or turn on their TVs to find the latest scores and keep up with the play was enough to make the mobile site take off. And the mobile site was pretty stripped down—there was an all-text news feed, scores, tee times, and some video.

Really, that is all you need. Mobile sites should still be built for delivering quick bursts of information. When you are on the go, you probably don’t have time to wait for a busy page to load with graphics you can barely see anyway. But before touch-screen phones, the mobile Web was too difficult to navigate. Remove the friction of getting on the Web, and people will come in droves.

Tools for Creating a Mobile Version of Your Site

1. MoFuse (from $7.95 per month)

MoFuse is one of the most popular mobile website builders around, which is unsurprising considering its excellent customizability. Visit the MoFuse website, click “Launch a New Mobile Site”, choose a mobile domain and insert your URL. Next, click on “Add Elements” to add dynamic and static content to each page. Click on “Layout” to transfer elements to your live site, dragging and dropping them to create the optimal visual arrangement before, finally, previewing your new site using MoFuse’s emulator, which brings up a mobile phone screen on your computer’s monitor. For bloggers, MoFuse is completely free and even easier to set up.

2. Mippin (free)

Mippin is an absolutely fantastic tool for those who want to mobilize an RSS-driven site. It doesn’t offer the same level of customization as MoFuse, but it’s much quicker to use and the results look great, every time. What’s more, your site will be optimized to work on over 2,000 handsets and the service is completely free. It provides users with basic analytics in reports, as well as the ability to earn money through mobile advertising.

3. Mobilize by Mippin (free)

Mobilize by Mippin is a terrific WordPress plugin, which automatically displays your blog to mobile visitors from your normal URL. Once installed, everybody accessing your site from a mobile phone will be automatically redirected to the mobile version. Photos are scaled to fit the horizontal dimensions of a phone screen and videos are converted to the 3GP format, commonly used on most 3G, 2G and even 4G phones.

4. Wirenode (free basic package)

At last count, 31,912 websites had been optimized for mobile phones using Wirenode, a tool which lacks the customization potential of MoFuse, but offers slightly more in this regard than Mippin. From Wirenode’s dashboard, users can configure their domain name, upload pictures, track visitors and page views and preview their site on an emulated phone. Wirenode’s simple Editor interface lets users personalize their mobile site with colors and images, and create, edit, rearrange and delete individual pages.

5. 2ergo (contact for a quote)

2ergo has mobilized huge organizations like Rightmove and The National Guard, creating mobile-friendly websites for them which look great and load quickly. 2ergo’s customers can choose to use the self-service mobile publishing and content management tool, Mobile Site Builder, or let 2ergo design a custom site especially for them. The latter, obviously, is the more expensive option of the two. 2ergo’s service includes automatic device and carrier detection, data capture and collection forms, an integrated ad service platform, real-time tracking and top-notch technical support.

6. Zinadoo (free)

Zinadoo is a really slick, free tool, which lets users build a mobile site quickly and easily. Users can make the most of Zinadoo’s web and mobile widgets, as well as its text and email services, to promote their site to an online and offline community. Furthermore, they can optimize their site for Google Mobile with keywords and tags, and upload videos using Zinadoo’s Mobile Video. As if that wasn’t enough, users can also gain access to Zinadoo’s online Business Directory and Mobiseer, a Web 2.0 service for organizing, tagging, sharing and managing favorite mobile sites.

7. Winksite (free)

Winksite is an excellent W3C mobileOK and .mobi standards-compliant mobile website builder which focuses heavily on the community element of website promotion and social interaction. It’s packed full of mobile-community-type features like forums, chat and polls. Users can use Winksite to create their own mobile portal for communicating with friends, sharing feeds and favorites. Users can also divert all of their texts, emails and Twitter messages to one mobile destination which people can interact with.

8. MobiSiteGalore (starts at $7.99)

MobiSiteGalore offers a mobile website builder, which can be used just as easily from a mobile phone as a computer. Its Quick Start Wizard, accompanied throughout by Help Movies, makes setting up a mobile website incredibly easy. Once you’ve added pages, chosen a color scheme, added content and checked your new site for compliance with ready.mobi standards, you can add items to your new site from the Goodies List. Goodies include click-to-call, add to phone book, Google search and links to PayPal.

9. mobiReady (free)

You can’t build a mobile site using mobiReady. What you can do, however, is test your existing site for mobile usability. Enter your URL and press “Go” to get free reports, detailing how well your site displays on mobiles and any potential problem areas. You’re even given information regarding how much people in different parts of the world are charged to view your site.

10. Google Mobile Optimizer (free)

Google Mobile Optimizer is the quickest possible means of transforming your website into one suitable for mobile user consumption. Navigate your way to google.com/gwt/n, enter a site URL and a lightweight version will appear, without headers, ads or images. It’s completely un-customizable and renders a minority of websites useless, but it’s a very useful bookmark for your phone.

British Airways Website is Most Usable Travel Website

User experience consultancy Webcredible’s 2010 Flights Online Report found BA offers the best levels of usability in the online travel sector, scoring an overall rating of 78%.

The report shows that budget airlines have made the biggest improvements online over the past year. EasyJet is now close behind BA on 77%, improving from 50% last year, while Ryanair has climbed 12 places from last year to 8th with a score of 66%.

Five websites – also including Virgin Atlantic, BMI and Travel Republic – scored over 70% compared to just three last year, while the average usability score rose to 64.4% from 55.2% last year.

The improved figures suggest that the online travel industry is beginning to recognise the value of improving the usability of their sites; however, this is not across the board with 11 sites scoring in the 60s and Opodo and Lastminute.com both dropping lower in the rankings that last year.

The report found that there are many areas that could still be improved such as support for comparison shoppers, making pages ‘share friendly’, providing airport information and providing progress bars and contact numbers during the booking process.

Trenton Moss, director at Webcredible, said: “Usability is essential so that site visitors can find the flights they’re looking for quickly and intuitively. A poor user experience could lead to customers going elsewhere and could make customers reluctant to complete other transactions online, such as checking-in.”

Webcredible scored ten airlines and ten travel agents against 20 best practise usability guidelines, which were each assigned a score of 0 -5. Capabilities that were tested throughout the report include searching for flights, search results and flight summary booking pages and errors and error handling.

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