Mobile eCommerce has been quickly growing over the last few years. There are three main reasons for this – devices, networks, and global adoption. Smartphones and tablets continue to become more powerful, and are getting more accessible in terms of cost. Mobile networks provide higher speeds and have more coverage areas. As a result, there has been an explosive growth and adoption of smartphones in the developing countries.
Mobile eCommerce is becoming a bigger part of eCommerce for both big and small stores in the U.S. and globally, according to Internet Retailer.
Mobile accounts for 30% of all eCommerce in the U.S.
You can use the WooCommerce iOS app (free) to get an overview of your store, orders, and products on your iPhone. The app allows you to quickly get an overview of your store. You also have the ability to configure more than one store on the same app.
The information automatically updates as you get more orders or add products to your store. You can reference product information like SKU number, price, etc. on-the-go.
If your store has more than one administrator, you can allow or revoke store access to individual users for the WooCommerce iOS app through your online store.
When customers make a purchase, the order details get pushed to the app. You can see the overview of the order, and open information about shipping address and user information.
Take a look at the documentation to learn more about the WooCommerce for iOS app.
Similar to the WooCommerce app, if your store is built on Easy Digital Downloads, you can use the iOS Sales / Earnings Tracker ($2.99) app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to access your store status. This includes recent sales, earnings overview, product details, and order details.
You can also use the Pushover service to enable the Pushover Notifications for Easy Digital Downloads extension. The service sends you push notifications whenever a sale is made on your store, and you can also access the sale details. This service is available for both iOS and Android devices.
For both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, WordPress has plugins and extensions to not only mobile-optimize the store for owners and administrators, but also for storefront visitors.
To create a great storefront experience, you have the option to convert your WooCommerce store into a native app for iOS and Android. Think of this like using the Amazon website on your phone vs the Amazon app: having a native app can produce a more streamlined shopping experience.
The full suite of extensions include features like allowing your app to send push notifications, enable geo-location to allow users to check-in, ability to access the camera or photos, and customize the theme for a unique app experience.
Take a look at examples of apps built using AppPresser to get an idea of the different use cases.
A native app allows you to create a more robust experience for customers interacting with your store through the use of the device’s capabilities.
But, if you sell products that people generally would not purchase too often – for example, if you were selling high value items like kayaks or large hard-wood table sets – then, a native app may not be the best way of showcasing your storefront on mobile. This is because people have little use for the app once they’ve made the purchase. In such cases, you may be better off with a responsive theme for your online store.
Responsive themes adjust and resize the elements of the store website based on the viewer’s screen size (resolution). Depending on the theme you use, this can mean resizing images to optimize for smaller screens, changing layout by moving horizontal columns into vertical rows on smaller screens, hiding the menu, and much more.
As an example, if you have the latest version of WordPress installed, open your dashboard and drag the browser window to make it smaller. Notice how elements within the dashboard adjust to the smaller browser size.
You can check your store site by resizing the browser, or using tools like Screenfly. A responsive theme creates a consistent browsing experience for your visitors across all devices while making your store more usable for your mobile visitors.
Both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads can provide store overview on mobile apps. This includes recent orders, product details, customer information, and more, so that you can access all the latest information without having to open the WordPress dashboard on a computer.
This can be especially helpful in the early stages of your eCommerce journey when you end up running multiple aspects of your store like marketing, developing products, packaging, and shipping. For example, if you sell hand-made leather goods that you create and your workshop is away from your computer, the mobile app can give you access to all the latest orders so you can create the complete batch.
On the storefront side, you can create a native mobile app of your WordPress store through AppPresser. This mobile app reflects any changes you make to your WordPress store, and can include mobile features like geo-location, push notifications, etc.
You can also use a responsive theme that has been optimized for eCommerce stores to create a seamless browsing experience for your customers. Responsive themes create a consistent experience by adjusting and optimizing the store to the screen size of visitors.
What do you use to optimize your store for mobile eCommerce? Tell us in the comments below.