The Advantages of Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Gone is the time of just being desktop compatible. This past year alone, mobile user share increased 10% to 47.59%, and more than 7 billion people worldwide have a mobile phone. While that is a lot of people, please don’t get us wrong. Desktop is still important and necessary, but Mobile-friendly has been ranked just as high in those categories within the past few years. 

We mentioned before in a previous blog just how important mobile-friendly is, which you can read here. For this blog though, we’re going to discuss some advantages that come with having a mobile version of your website. 

It’s become a Google Ranking Factor

If you didn’t already know, Google has been taking into account mobile-friendly search results for businesses since 2015. This hasn’t been harming desktop rankings, but if you’re not optimized for mobile, you’ll be at a disadvantage against those who are. 

Also, mobile speed scores also can affect rankings. Users care about their time and don’t want to wait as your website takes forever to load. Make sure to take care and pay attention to these factors if you want to improve your Google rankings. 

Just to help you check if your website is mobile-friendly, here’s Google’s own Mobile-Friendly URL test

Mobile E-commerce Market

While we’re all used to ordering from websites, mobile eCommerce is a large market for all industries. So much so that by the end of 2020, US mobile retail revenues reached 339.03 billion US dollars, and that was during the major hit of the pandemic. While things start to get back to normal, people are now accustomed to online orders, fast shipping, and even sometimes same-day arrival.

It’s become a part of us so much that by next year, it’s expected to grow 68%. More people are on their phones, especially when on the go now that offices and jobs are opening. 

Thanks to popular mobile websites like Sephora, Zara, Shein, and Amazon,  who have successfully marketed mobile to their audience, and have made it easy to use with no conflict. 

Better than an app?

There’s a constant battle between platforms for apps. The best thing about a website is that it’s not restricted to being on one platform or the other. It’s open for all smartphones as long as you have an internet connection. Even so, there’s no need to update it constantly to fix bugs and issues. Websites do need some maintenance, but not on a consistent schedule like apps.

They both have their benefits, obviously, and whichever you choose depends on your business objectives. The websites do tend to be easier to manage and maintain, and they can help convert users from different IOS’s. 

With the benefits of quick loading, higher ranking on the results page, accessibility to the mobile e-commerce market, and more, Mobile websites have the ability to take your online presence to the next level. We here at James Ross have an amazing team to help you reach that level and beyond! Contact us today to get started on reaching those goals and more!

Evolving E-commerce with Tiktok

By now advertising on social media is as common as ever. We’re bombarded with advertisements as we scroll through our feeds, so much so, that Forbes reported that we see between 4k-10k each day! Now, Tiktok reigns as the number 1 most downloaded app, knocking off Facebook-owned apps, and the first to reach 380+ million first-time installs. With that said, let’s talk about the advertising benefits of the platform.

This is the new wild west for marketers. The app, back in May according to Bloomberg, started pushing e-commerce through the platform. TikTok’s Chinese-only cousin, Douyin, amassed up to $26 billion through e-commerce in its first year, so it made sense for Tiktok to expand this section of their app, and not just for competition but also revenue. They did just that, with their recent partnership with Shopify.

How it works

Firstly, this is for Shopify merchants with a Tiktok For Business account, which you can find here in the Shopify app store. With a free download, you can install 1-click pixel installations for performance tracking, promote products with campaigns, target a massive audience, and more! You can run campaigns while setting a budget, and all ad spend is billed to the TikTok ad account.

  • Your consumers can find the Shop page for your brand on your profile. Below is a screenshot we’ve taken from one of the major brands that are testing this option. From your profile page, users have a small shopping bag option to tap on.
Kylie Cosmetics Tiktok Profile
  • From within the Tiktok app, consumers can scroll through available products. If they select one they’d like to purchase, they can tap the “Checkout on Website” button on the product page, and be taken straight to your website through Tiktok, where they can checkout!

Ecommerce in videos

The platform did something that’s not that different from IG Shoppable Post. In your business account’s TikTok videos, you can add a shoppable tag for the product, which then takes you to the product page on the platform. While you can post videos on Instagram feeds and reels, Tiktok got the product up and in front of the consumer first, and allows businesses to link it right there, with no additional effort to the consumer. They’ve perfected seamless shopping with virtually no interference on social media. 

Kylie Cosmetics Tiktok Product Tag

Select availability

The Shopping pilot, for right now, is only available to Shopify merchants within the US and UK. However, over the next few months, they’ll be rolling out to other countries and regions. If you’re a Shopify merchant, you can request early access to the pilot via Shopify’s TikTok channel.

Additional Services

Just as with any other platform, Tiktok offers ad services as well. Instead of basic ads though, the app has a few different options for what type of ads you want to do for your company. The most noticeable ones though are what they call “Brand Takeovers” and the In-feed ads. 

Brand Takeovers

Right when you open the app up, for an entire day, you’ll see the same advertisement a few times as your first video. This can give your brand major exposure but will come at a hefty price for the day, depending on if it’s a holiday or not. 

In-feed ads

In-feed ads are the basic format for ads on the platform. They’re the auto-playing videos people will swipe through on their “For you” page (also known as FYP). These are the small ads, aiming for engagements, such as likes, comments, or follows. Users can even “stitch” with your ad, which is like reposting a video on their account if the ad entices users to engage that way.  

At James Ross, we have 30+ years of experience in following through with creative solutions for clients. We’ve worked on multiple social media platforms with organic and paid advertising, so make sure to contact or email us here to get started about your e-commerce strategy, on more than just Tiktok!

Listen to the Changes Coming with Voice Commerce

You can ask Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri to look for products, add to cart, create a wishlist, make product notes, and purchase. Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana also offer a range of voice-activated services. With voice assistants estimated to reach  8.2  billion devices by 2024, how can you sell using this rapidly growing technology?

We’ll cover three of the best ways to answer this trend.

  1. Use product descriptions optimized for voice commerce
  2. Keep building your brand so people ask for it
  3. Test everything

Product Descriptions: Categorize and Tag for Voice Searches

Look at your product descriptions and think about how someone would “ask” for the product instead of “search” for it.  With traditional online search, just a few words may be typed in, such as “black workout shorts.” Voice search may be more conversational and detailed, such as, “where can I buy black workout shorts for yoga, size 8?” On your eCommerce site, it’s important to properly categorize and tag your product pages, to include all relevant terms that might be spoken, such as “workout, yoga, black, size 8” and “women’s”.  Why did I add women’s? If the device hears a woman’s voice it will search for women’s wear first. This seems like a lot of work, but as you add new items or update your site, develop this as a best practice.

Building Your Brand Reduces the Competition

In traditional search, numerous competitors’ products will pop up if your brand name is searched.  Your own site may be far down the list after paid ads.  With voice search, it is more likely that customers will see at least two or three results only for your brand.  Amazon’s virtual assistant will favor Amazon brands for searches. But you still will fare better if your brand name is requested.  

So keep investing in your brand, including SEO, social, email, and the traditional marketing disciplines, such as direct mail.

Test Everything

It’s surprisingly easy to test if your site is optimized for voice. Just say, “Hey Siri” and ask for what you are looking for.  Make sure your tests relate to your top products.  Run a report on top products (SKUs) and then test them all by doing an online search and then comparing it to a voice search.  Don’t forget to get rid of your cookies.  Keep track of the results and revisit this every month.  Focus on fixing your top products to learn what works and doesn’t. Then roll out to the rest of your product line.

If your product is a consultative service or a solution, instead of a physical product, this advice still holds. You may also need to test searches related to cities.  For example, if someone searches for “fishing charters in Pompano Beach” you may wish to make sure your Fort Lauderdale based-fishing business includes Pompano Beach in the website tags.

Remember it’s just the beginning…

Let’s return to the fact that there will be an estimated 8 billion digital assistants in three years. With technical advancements, including AI, the relevance of results will only get better.  It won’t just be eCommerce and picking songs.  Usage will expand to health, wellness, restaurants, and many more categories.
A related category, smart homes, that can control temperature, security, and more will also be a growing area for voice activation.  As affluent customers manage their homes by voice they will expect to shop the same way. A recent survey from IOT News reported that by 2024, smart homes in the US and Europe will number 179 million. This year alone, 35.6% of houses fit the category, but in three years, the number will increase to 53%.

How Do You Prepare?

Voice Commerce may be just a whisper now, but it’s growing fast.  The team at James Ross is tracking this trend and actively working on solutions for clients.  Sign up for our newsletter here to keep updated. Or if you’d like to discuss your Voice Commerce opportunities, contact us to get started!