Mobile Devices and Self-Service e-Commerce
The way we get on the internet, whether it be for social media, searching for information, or shopping, has been changing for years now. We have been seeing the use of mobile devices to get on the internet and using apps more than using a desktop or lap top these past years as cell phones and tablets continue to get better throughout the years. Now with the use of mobile devices, mobile versions of websites must be made and is an important part of web design now. Websites must be as responsive and east to navigate as it is on their desktop versions. Applications are becoming very important these days as people do a lot with applications besides just scrolling on social media. A mobile self-service application is a great way for customers at Sports R Us to browse around and shop for sports equipment, a mobile version of the website and an application to be used on IOS and Android devices will be a great way for customers to shop on their own.
Customers rely on their mobile device to interact with the world and do almost anything whether its ordering food to be delivered to them or shopping for anything you can think of. “More and more, businesses are finding ways to help their customers help themselves, with mobile and online self-service, applications used for everything from ordering a pizza and tracking its delivery, to keeping track of sensitive financial or health information.” (Douglas, 1) Customers can find a lot of different applications to do almost anything they need to do, for example, there are shopping applications, media applications like Twitch and YouTube, dining applications that allow you to make reservations or order food to be delivered, banking applications to check your balance or transfer money, and travel applications, book a flight or a hotel room. Mobile self-service applications give the customer the freedom to browse and do their shopping without having to talk to someone in person or go to the store, which I believe is the main goal because not everyone wants to go out or talk to someone in person. Mobile self-service applications are very useful for people with anxiety as well, taking out a stressful experience of talking to someone and allowing them to just order what they need online. When creating your mobile self-service application, you want to make sure it will attract your target audience. If the target user can’t find what their looking for or the application is confusing to use, they’ll most likely abandon it and find another application to use. For Sports R Us, they want a mobile self-service site and application for customers to be able to shop and buy sports equipment. Customers will need to be able to find different sports equipment for whatever sport they’re into, whether its football, baseball or basketball, they will be able to find it within the website or application and that should attract a lot of traffic.
When a customer is going to use a mobile self-service website or application, they want it to be easy to use and navigate and they’ll want it to be easy to find the product their after. Customers don’t want to spend a long time searching for a product and if they can’t find what they’re looking for in a certain amount of time, they’ll go to another website or application to look for it. Customers want to an easy to use search bar that way they can search for the specific product their looking for instead of having to look through a list of products. They want to be able to see a few pictures of the products and a brief description, so they have an idea of that to expect when they buy the product. Customers also would like a review page of the product so they can see what other customers rated and what they had to say about the product before buying. Another thing customer want is a simple way to talk with a customer service representative and I think a good way is having a chat feature because it can be less stressful for some customers and easier than making a phone call. Lastly the consumer likes to have an easy to use page for putting in their credit or debit card information so they can make a payment and the option for a tracking number so they can track their product. The design for the website on mobile devices should mirror your regular website but should be able to fit on smaller screens. I think the best option for our mobile website is a responsive website. A responsive website will still show all your products and contents but just changes and rearranges your content based on the screen size. “This is the best option for making your website mobile friendly, because you’re not limiting the information your mobile visitors can access – they still get all the same content the rest of your visitors do.” (Kristen Hicks, 1) This way customers get the same experience they would if they are using a desktop. There will be a header that will say Sports R Us with a search bar, the cart and different sports options to click on below the search bar. Underneath that will show examples of products the customer may come across that they can click on and view. When viewing a product, they will see a picture they can click on which will bring up pictures they can swipe through and on the side of the main picture will be a description of the product, the price, and the option to add it to your cart. When you scroll down from there you can view customer reviews. Once you’re ready to order, you will click on the cart at the top of the page, this will bring you to a page that will has fields to put your credit or debt card information and your shipping information. Once you have bought the product, you will have the option to either get your shipping number so you can track your product or continue shopping.
When coming up with a prototype, we need to come up with something that will gather the right kind of data and feedback to make the right fixes. I think making the mobile website and application and put it in a beta form for a select number of customers to try out for a few days and give us their feedbacks. The consumer is who this is being made for so their feedback is important, they can tell us what they like and don’t like, and we can add or take away during the beta testing. During the beta testing, we can do our evaluation of our website and application as well. There are a few things we’ll need to evaluate like strategy, usability, style, content, and search optimization. Behind a good website design, you have strategy. “Even the most attractive, user-friendly website isn’t successful when it isn’t achieving what your company needs.” (Shanna Mallon, 1) We want to make sure that the customers understand who we are and what we are offering once they pull up the website. Next we’ll evaluate usability of the website and application, testing out the speed, see if its user-friendly, and how well is the security. When testing the speed, we’ll need to see how long it takes to load the website and how long it takes to load each page, if it takes too long, customers could get bored or frustrated and might use a different website. Need to make sure all the links, search bar, and buttons work. Will need to make sure the website works in all browsers and on mobile devices. Since we are asking for customers addresses and credit/debit card information, we’ll need to make sure our security is working great and always up to date. Style is important here as well; we’ll want the site to be clean and make we use the right images to make it attractive to the customers. Content shall be evaluated too. “The two main considerations regarding content are readability and usefulness.” (Shanna Mallon, 1) We need to make sure customers can read the content on our website, making sure the font is readable and if its big enough to read. Lastly and importantly, we’ll need to evaluate the search optimization. Customers can’t find your website if it doesn’t come up when they search for it when using Google or Bing. We’ll want to make sure we’re using relevant keywords in title tags, something like sports or equipment, and useful meta descriptions and heading tags. When implementing our mobile self-service website, we’ll want to make sure it works on safari since IOS devices like iPhones and iPads use safari and make sure it works well with chrome, since most Android devices uses chrome, we can also implement it onto Firefox, Windows Edge, and Internet Explorer.
Having a mobile self-service website and application will be great for the company and the customers. This will allow the customers to browse and shop on their own, giving them the option to shop for the sports equipment they need without having to take one step into a store. Our world is becoming mostly mobile and the smart things company’s can do is to make sure they have a good, working mobile website and self-serving application. I believe companies will start to see majority of their business will be done on mobile devices.
Douglas edited by David Katz. 2019. Self-Service Mobile Apps: Help Your Customers Help Themselves. www.zeroonezero.com/blog/index.php/search-engine-marketing-and-optimization/self-service-mobile-apps-help-your-customers-help-themselves/
Kristen Hicks. March 12, 2018. How To Make A Website Mobile Friendly. www.hostgator.com/blog/how-make-website-mobile-friendly/
Shanna Mallon. February 4, 2014. 5 Ways to Evaluate the Quality of Your Website Design. www.straightnorth.com/insights/5-ways-evaluate-quality-your-website-design/