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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 28, 2011

Usablenet: Mobile traffic heavier on Thanksgiving than Black Friday

New figures released by mobile platform firm Usablenet underscore the need for retailers to have mobile-optimized websites.

by Helen Leggatt

More than 100 leading US retailers' mobile websites are powered by Usablenet, including the likes of JCPenney and REI, and data from recent days shows that mobile traffic to these sites was heavier on Thanksgiving Day than on Black Friday.

Mobile traffic was found to be up 160% from the same period in 2010.

Why? Because, says the mobile platform firm, people were spending the day seeking out deals ahead of visiting stores on Black Friday.

The statistics further push the message to retailers that a mobile-optimized website is essential. However as Jason Taylor, Usablenet VP of technology, told Econsultancy, just 25% of the top 200 retailers have one.

It won't be long before Cyber Monday figures are released. The number of shoppers who planned to use their smartphones or other mobile device on Cyber Monday continues to rise, as does device adoption.

In just two years, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday has nearly tripled from just 3.6 million (3.8%) in 2009 to 17.8 million (14.5%) in 2011.

While many of the newer smartphones and, of course, the iPhone, render standard websites with no real issue, most consumers still require a mobile-specific option.

Here are five tips to ensure your mobile website meets expectations.

1. Keep it simple

The golden rule of mobile website content is "less is more". Cut out unnecessary images, or give visitors the option of whether to view them.

2. Cut down clicks

Make information is easily reachable without the need for excessive clicks or typing.

3. Hone the homepage

Consider what features customers find most important to the mobile shopping experience and highlight them on the homepage.

4. Be finger-friendly

Touch screens are becoming more widespread. Users will be using their fingers to navigate. Make sure content and links are large and clear to make navigating the site hassle-free.

5. Test

What looks great on one device may be a complete turn-off on another, so test mobile websites on as many platforms as possible.

Tags: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, ecommerce, iPhone, mcommerce, mobile marketing, mobile website, smartphone, Thanksgiving, website optimization

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