The Rise of M-Commerce: Tips for Effective Mobile Marketing & Sales

The Rise of M-Commerce: Tips for Effective Mobile Marketing & Sales by  .  Available from <>. [October 17, 2016]

When you look at your mobile device – phone, tablet, or any other digital sidekick of choice – what do you see? One answer should hopefully be “a gateway to online shopping. According to Internet Retailer Magazine, mobile commerce (M-commerce) accounted for 30 percent of all e-commerce sales in 2015. That’s a 38.7 percent increase over 2014, putting revenues to just over $104 billion.

How did we get to a time where mobile purchases accounted for nearly a third of all digital commerce sales in the United States?

With M-commerce on the rise, it’s not enough to realize how much M-commerce is growing. To be truly effective at marketing and selling through this channel, retailers should be aware of the reasons why it’s growing in order to better engage customers through this shopping platform.

Smartphone Ownership

According to Pew Research, 68 percent of Americans owned smartphones in 2015 – a figure up from 35 percent in 2011. With smartphone ownership on the rise, it’s no wonder M-commerce numbers are rising with it. Using smartphones to shop is only natural, especially since they’ve become computers on-the-go. Now, the entire web is at consumers’ fingertips no matter where they might be – and forward-thinking retailers and app developers have come to realize that consumers want to shop using their smartphones, the same as they would using a computer.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

There used to be a day when a consumer could look at a website for their favorite retailer on their phone, and be frustrated that it wasn’t mobile-friendly. That’s where tech-savvy retailers, who began thinking mobile-first, began to transform their existing websites into either responsive mobile designs, which adapt their website appearance to the type and size of a visitor’s device, or specialty mobile designs, which are built specifically for mobile users with less overall functionality but improved design for purchasing behaviors.

Similar Web issued a report in 2015 stating that more than 55 percent of traffic to today’s leading websites is from mobile devices, an increase of 14 percent over 2014.Google also released an algorithm update in April 2016 that penalized websites in mobile search results that were not mobile-friendly (though there is no current impact to those same websites in desktop searches). This means sites are being rewarded if they offer a mobile-friendly website, and is a great motivation to move into mobile-friendly territory.

Popular Industries

Which industries are attracting the greatest volume of M-commerce traffic? Similar Web’s 2015 report lists the following industries as the leaders and most-visited by mobile users:

  • Beauty
  • Garden and Home
  • Health
  • Animals and Pets
  • Society and People
  • Auto
  • Hobbies and Recreation
  • Sports
  • Entertainment and Arts
  • Travel
  • Industry and Business

Consumer M-Commerce Habits

How are consumers engaging in M-commerce? It varies by industry, so considering a personalized plan for your business is one key to successfully engaging consumers through this channel. Even if customers don’t purchase a vacation, plane ticket, or car directly from their mobile device, their mobile device is playing a key role by giving that consumer the necessary information to make a purchase decision.

“For consumers, mobile devices have become an extension of the research and comparison phase of shopping, especially as they can quickly find products and reviews, as well as check their rewards through loyalty programs or credit cards via their mobile device,” said Amy Parsons, Vice President of Global Commerce at Discover. “Retailers should consider being present in the mobile channel based on what’s best for their type of business, whether it’s an app, mobile-friendly website, or social media channels, in order to reach customers and deliver relevant information.”

This means that even if your business as part of an industry where most sales are completed via desktop or even in-person (such as a car dealership), you should consider investing in the mobile platform as a part of your digital marketing strategy, knowing your customers will use mobile tools to come to an informed purchasing decision.

Key Takeaways

As the busy holiday shopping season nears, now is a key time to ask how you can improve your brand’s efforts around M-commerce. Do you need to hire a consultant to help your brand meet your customer’s mobile shopping expectations? How can you use your current website analytics (such as bounce rates and popular pages) to enhance your customer’s overall mobile research and purchase experience? Are you doing everything you can to make it easy to be found in mobile searches and to be user-friendly once customers find you?

The easier it is for your customers to complete a mobile purchase, the sooner you’ll start to build engagement among this digitally-demanding customer demographic. M-commerce is on the rise, which means the “M” piece of your digital shopping experience could reach new heights as well.

The Rise of M-Commerce: Tips for Effective Mobile Marketing & Sales by  .  Available from <>. [October 17, 2016]

5 Main Tips to Optimize Your Business Online

5 Main Tips to Optimize Your Business Online by Lisa Wheatly.  Available from <> [October 07, 2016]

Running an online business has been made so much easier with the emergence of social media, because just about anybody, even your target audience, is there all the time. But, even though you may have a handle on nearly all aspects of running a business online, there are still ways you can improve it. Here are 5 main tips you can implement today and optimize your online business for best results.

1. Create Fresh and Engaging Content

Being able to put up fresh new content consistently will drive your visitors to check out your page more often, which means more chances for them to purchase something from you, and more chances to share your content. And in order for them to share it, they need to find it engaging and useful. It is simple: just create your content so that overlaps with their needs, and provide a solution to their problems. Ultimately, you can hire a writing service to assist you with content writing.

2. Create Mobile-Friendly Pages

These days, the majority of searches is done using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which means your website and/or blog need to feature responsive design, which makes sure that the content is displayed properly, regardless of the screen size. You can create a separate version of your webite for mobile devices, but sooner or later, you will have to start incorporating responsive design, because it is quickly becoming the norm when it comes to web design and online business.

3. Use Analytics Software

One of the best ways to optimize your business would be to make use of analytics software. Analytics software can measure and quantify just about every aspect of your visitors’ behavior. Using this data, you can tweak and improve your efforts, see what works and what doesn’t, and reach your target audience more efficiently. For this, you can useGoogle Analytics (which is completely free) or Moz Analytics, which are able to gather tons of data. Another great tool you need to start using is Crazy Egg, which creates a visual heat map, where you can plainly see which landing pages and sections of your website receive the most clicks.

4. Make Your Business More Search Engine Friendly

Despite what you may have read or heard, SEO is still as important as ever, even though the way you use it has changed. Google no longer prefers keyword stuffing. Instead, it prioritizes quality content that provides real value for the readers. But, instead of waiting for your visitors to come to you, you can come to them. Check out BuzzSumo, which will let you know all about topics and keywords which are currently trending, so you can shift your focus towards providing content that is popular among the people. Also, it can help you keep an eye on your competitors and their activities.

5. Engage with Your Social Media Followers

Engaging with your customers on social media can help you establish trust, as they will be able to see that there is an actual human behind the brand, and that you’ve taken the time to hear them out. But, instead of spending time on all possible social media outlets, focus on those which are suited for your business. For instance, if your business is arts and crafts, social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Tumblr may be of use to you, while the same cannot be said for LinkedIn, for instance.

Follow these tips, and you will be able to make the most out of your efforts and improve your business so that it becomes, and stays, a success story.

Author Lisa Wheatly is a long time employee of Top Aussie Writers, a team member with years of experience under her belt. Lisa studied at the University of Queensland, Australia where she gained a degree in business that prepared her for the vast array of assignments that she now works on daily.

5 Main Tips to Optimize Your Business Online by Lisa Wheatly.  Available from <> [October 07, 2016]

How to test a website before you launch: a 28 point checklist

How to test a website before you launch: a 28 point checklist Author .  Available from <> [Sept 20, 2016]

Three years ago, Mark Knowles wrote a thoroughchecklist for testing a website prior to its live launch. It was a very helpful guide, so we thought we’d update it for the current digital landscape.

Here we present a guide on how to test a website, full of updated information and tips to make sure everything looks and works exactly as it should on launch day. Everyone has a role here, and that’s how the tasks have been divided – for Editors, Designers, Developers, SEOs and Network Administrators.

Please note: many of the tips below are from Mark Knowles, but have been updated to reflect any changes.

For the Editor and Writers…

1. Spelling, grammar, punctuation

Check for proper spelling, typos, and grammar site-wide. Not just in article text and headlines, but also throughout the navigation, calls-to-action, buttons, forms etc.

2. Forms

Fill out the forms on the site and go through the following questions:

  • Can the flow be improved?
  • Do you get stuck?
  • Are the instructions accurate?
  • Does the completed form get sent to the right people or person?

3. Check images

Make sure your images are all optimised for the web. Ensuring they’re not too large – and site-speed draining. As well as being properly labelled with titles and alt-text.


4. Context

When giving a critical eye to the pages within the site, ask:

  • Why would I visit this page?
  • Is the content ready for visitor?
  • Does the page address the audience?

For the Web Designer

5. Site speed

Check the size of your page sizes and their load time. You can use Google’s own site speed testto do this. Site speed is a ranking factor, so follow any improvements Google recommends as closely as you can.

6. Mobile friendliness

Is your website mobile-friendly. Frankly it’s very difficult not to building a multi-device compatible website in 2016, but just in case, here’s a handy checklist to ensure your website’s mobile-friendliness.


7. Compatibility

Check to make sure your website’s pages render well in common browsers. Browser share is a moving target so to help prioritize efforts, here’s a site that continually examines it.

8. Fonts

Sometimes font codes get dropped into a page inadvertently and make a letter or a word look funny. Check to see that the formatting is consistent, and look for odd blips in the copy.

9. Navigation

Test the navigation to breaking point. Make sure every single possible journey through your website leads to wherever its meant to without any broken links or wrong pages.

Makes sure your on-site search works, and it delivers accurate results, and if there are any zero-results that you’re providing navigation to other relevant pages.

For the Web Developer

10. Live URLs

Often, sites are built at a URL (uniform resource locator) that isn’t the website’s final destination. When a site goes live, the URLs are transferred from a staging area to production. All the URLs change at this time, and they need to be tested.

On small sites without any tools, you can navigate to each page to make sure they all work. On a site with fewer than 500 URLs, you can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool for free to find bad URLs. For larger sites, there is a modest annual fee.

11. Sign up to Google Search Console

Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools) is an invaluable tool for all webmasters. This is where Google will communicate with you should anything go wrong (crawling errors, manual penalties, increase in 404 pages, malware detected, etc.)

Search Console is also where you can monitor your site’s performance, identify issues, submit content for crawling, remove content you don’t want indexed, view the search queries that brought visitors to your site, monitor backlinks.

You should also sign up to Bing Webmaster Tools.

12. Minify

This is a technique that combines and compresses website code into smaller chunks to speed up your site. You can read more about it at Google. Then, look at the website pre-launch to see if the site is using minify where it can.

13. 404 pages

When a 404 (“page not found”) error occurs, make sure you have a custom page to help your visitor find something else of use, even if it wasn’t what they were looking for. Do you have an HTML sitemap there? Does the 404 page include a site search?

14. Favicon

Favicons are those little iconic images that show up in the address bar and tabs of your browser. How does it help? It’s a small branding opportunity that lends credibility to your site. It’s nice to have one when you launch.

For the SEO team

15. 301 Redirects

Sometimes content is repurposed or gets moved to fit the new navigation structure of a site. If you have an existing site and you are changing the URL structure with your new site, you’ll want to make sure you’ve mapped the old URLs to the new ones.

The Screaming Frog spider mentioned earlier can be run on both the old site and the new. An Excel spreadsheet is a great way to document this effort. Column A has the old URL, and you place the new URL in Column B. Each row represents a redirect from old to new. On launch day, it’s time to execute.

16. Title Tags/Meta Data

This may sound like old news to some, but this easy-to-fix mistake happens every day. Make sure every page has a title tag, and make sure they are unique.

Also make sure each has a meta description. Although these snippets used in search aren’t necessarily a ranking signal, they will help a searcher decide whether to click-through or not.

17. XML Sitemaps/HTML Sitemap

Make sure your new website has an accurate site map in both XML and HTML format. You canupload your sitemap to Search Console, however most CMSs such as WordPress will automatically build a sitemap for you.

18. Analytics

Make sure Google Analytics or the analytics package you’re using, is set up and ready to go from day one so you can measure and analyse traffic to your site.

19. Structured markup

If you’re using Schema markup or any other structured data, is it rendering correctly in SERPs? You can check any errors and how to fix them in the structured markup section of Search Console.

20. Accelerated Mobile Pages

If you’re using Google’s AMP project to provide mobile searchers with faster loading web pages, you need to make sure these are rendering properly. Here’s a guide to implementing Google AMP on your website.

21. Social media integration

Do the social media icons on the site go to the correct pages? Do you have the right buttons and social plugins installed for what you are trying to accomplish and what you want the user to be able to do? (For example, does it ‘share a post’ rather than ‘Like’ your page on Facebook.)

22. SERP Display

Are the search engines displaying your pages correctly in the search engine results pages? Did you write proper meta descriptions, but they aren’t being used? Thoroughly investigate your visibility in Search Console.

23. PPC Setup

Make sure if you’re running any PPC campaigns that they’re set up and ready to go with the site launch. To avoid a lapse in service, if you have a Google PPC rep, you can set and pause all your campaigns to the new URLs prior to launch, and instead of the ads getting disapproved, your rep can approve them manually.

For the Network Administrator

24. Monitoring

A site monitor checks pages regularly to make sure it is available for visitors. Basic monitors check if the page is working.

Important pages within the site should have enhanced monitors that test if a completed form behaves the way it should. Enhanced monitors are more expensive to setup and keep running so the page in question needs to justify the additional expense.

25. Backup System

Have you thought about what happens if the server goes down? Make sure the backup system is configured properly, and the recovery process has been tested so you know it works.

26. Traffic Loads

Think about what might happen to your site if it gets an influx of heavy traffic. There are load test software tools that allow you to simulate heavy loads. If you are expecting big crowds, this is a must.

27. Protected Pages

Does your site have pages that require user credentials to view? If so, do the credentials work? From the opposite angle, also check to see that the pages can’t be viewed without proper credentials. Make several attempts to get to those URLs without proper credentials to make sure the security is working as expected.

28. Secure Certificate

If your site is ecommerce, or you’re using encrypted pages to protect visitor privacy on a form or elsewhere, you’ll want to check your certificate on launch day.

To do this, go to the encrypted section of your site. When the lock appears in the address bar, right click on it and read the message your visitors will read. It should have your name on it and state that it’s valid. If the lock doesn’t appear or the name isn’t right, let your provider know.

How to test a website before you launch: a 28 point checklist Author .  Available from <> [Sept 20, 2016]

Top 5 E-Commerce Trends Of 2016

Top 5 E-Commerce Trends Of 2016 BY Amy Watson.  Available from <> [20/09/2016]

Ready to take on the world of e-commerce? If your answer is “not just yet”, here are some reasons why this year is the best time to pursue your online business dreams. 2016 is a great time to start working on the e-commerce dream you’ve had with the help of social media, different lending preferences, crowd funding, and the advancement of technology.

There are a lot of new trends in store for any passionate e-commerce startup with a great vision for an e-commerce business idea. This article will get you inspired by discussing the current situation and trends of e-commerce today perfect for any e-commerce startup like you for the year 2016.

But First, What Is E-Commerce?

E-commerce utilises an electronic network or the internet as a platform for buying and selling of goods and services. Usually, transactions under the e-commerce platform are B2B or business-to-business, B2C or business-to-consumer, C2C or consumer-to-consumer, and C2B or consumer-to-business. An e-commerce business usually makes use of various applications like email, online catalogues or shopping carts, social media, and the like.

Customers find e-commerce advantageous given its convenience, round-the-clock availability, speedy process, and the wide range of choices on goods and services available at the tip of their fingers. But the major downsides toeE-commerce in the perspective of a customer are that there is only a limited customer service, a long wait time, and the absence of concrete inspection of the product you wish to purchase.

Why Should You Start An E-Commerce Business?

Mobile and internet use have expanded globally making e-commerce advance radically over the years. With this fact comes the immense opportunity for storefronts to develop their significance and expand their market by finding their place online. The idea of starting an e-commerce business can cross any person’s mind considering the ease of access.

The only problem now is how to come up with a unique e-commerce business idea that can spark the interest of customers. It is common knowledge that an entrepreneur needs to carry out an in-depth research before going into any business. Before you wrack your brain for a distinct business niche to sell, it would be best if you check out the success stories of e-commerce pioneers.

Here are the top five e-commerce innovative ideas and trend from this year from the top dogs to inspire you in jumpstarting your e-commerce business venture.

1. Web To Print Business

Web to Print or web2print SaaS (software as a service) is where people can take advantage of the internet to customise/improve their desired products before being finalised by the seller company to print the designs along with producing the products. Products can range from brochures, catalogues, business cards, postcards, flyers, and other branding propaganda and even those that involve wide-format printing like banners. A good web-to-print software is used to realise all this. Here, the software may enable the customer to customise the “look” of a certain product, submit it to company for finalisation, then more possible needed coordination before the products are produced, that are all done seamlessly using the software, such as those from ( where customers can connect with their different requirements that they might just need for their projects.

2. Subscription E-Commerce

Here’s a good idea to spice up everybody’s month in the year: do subscription e-commerce! Imagine this: you send your customers a monthly (or it depends how often) box of treats by subscribing to your service! If you’re into organic food products, customers can get a monthly basket of organic goodies depending on the ingredients on season. If you’re into fashion, you can send them a box of trendy pieces depending on what’s hot at the moment like how Stitch Fix and Trunk Club do it. There’s no limit to your creativity and the systems you can employ to make it perfect! From your daily dose of coffee, your kid’s and pet’s playthings and even your personal hygiene products can come in a box every month. You can add it as a feature of your business, or you can base your service entirely to just that! (

3. Online Grocery Store Via Apps

Nobody likes to find themselves waiting for hours at an overcrowded grocery store just to get their supplies. Sometimes you even have to haggle for your shopper’s discounts. With the advent of online food ordering apps, you can now skip preparing a shopping list, asking a shopkeeper which aisle it’s found and worrying about whether you’ve brought enough cash with you. This e-commerce idea delves into this common inconvenience. An online grocery app allows customers to choose grocery or food items, the method of delivery and even the mode of payment. (

4. Hotel Room Booking Via Apps

One of the inconveniences a person has to experience when it comes to going on vacations is the hassle of booking a hotel. You still have to worry whether it’s at a close proximity to your venue, fully booked, clean, and other things. With hotel mobile apps taking an innovative approach into hospitality marketing, hotels can provide a seamless reservation process, using push notifications or in-app messaging to provide personalised service and to relay valuable information to their guests about their stay. There are also curated guides in the apps containing leisure activities, restaurants, transportation tips and location maps that guests can use. Like how The Bulgari Hotel in London utilises their curated mobile booking app as a guide with information ranging from nightlife, shopping, and galleries for the Bulgari traveller. (

5. Product Curation E-Commerce

Modern shoppers are drawn to the convenience of e-commerce simply because they value their time more than anything. At the same time, customers are faced with choice overload while needing some expert purchasing advice. This e-commerce practice had brands exploring on personalising the shopping experience – which led to the trend of curated shopping. Curated e-commerce aims to assist shoppers on finding out products based on their own unique tastes and preferences. Websites and online apps like ShoeDazzle, JustFab, and MYHABIT let their customers take a quick online quiz to specify their style preferences, physical profile and available budget. The agony of choice is quite real, and anything that will help alleviate the overload will be much appreciated. (

This year, many e-commerce trailblazers established even more unique ideas for the already abundant industry. This is also an exciting time to be in the e-commerce industry seeing as how everyone strives to innovate. But innovation isn’t all about the investment; creativity is what makes all the good difference. What’s great with the online platform is that it doesn’t necessarily require big capital but rather outside-the-box thinking. You will have an edge if you can see possibilities where others can’t. Prepare yourself to create new ideas as 2016 reveals many attractive and rare assortments in the e-commerce realm.

Top 5 E-Commerce Trends Of 2016 BY Amy Watson.  Available from <> [20/09/2016]