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The rise in B2B mobile optimisation
For the first time ever the UK saw smartphones and tablets account for over half of online sales (51%) during the period November 2015 to January 2016 according to IMRG, demonstrating how smartphones and tablets are becoming a major component in e-commerce sales, as this figure is up 40% on the previous year and predicted to continue.
Not only have mobile phones become more secure, but payment processes on mobile devices have become slicker. In turn this is encouraging companies to give serious consideration to improving the customer experience on smartphones and other devices by optimising their websites to be fully functional and user friendly on mobile devices. Mobile phones have fundamentally changed the way people shop and manage their lives, and with the increase in mobile optimisation and the arrival of larger screens, the increase in mobile usage [for purchases] shot up in 2015 after a slow down in 2014 according to IMRG.
This trend has redefined marketing strategies for B2B companies, as it becomes more common for a business to conduct research into their ultimate purchasing decisions on their phones. Mobile phones and tablets are undoubtedly becoming the fastest growing sales channels, and with immediate access to company information, ratings and reviews, customers are using these devices to their advantage. Companies need to understand more than ever the power that customers now have and therefore ensure they are engaging online with them.
Being able to access supplier’s product information at any time is a huge advantage to many companies, allowing them to make crucial decisions at a moments notice. No longer do decision makers need to be sat at a desk or making decisions during office hours, the freedom of mobile phones and tablets mean they can make these purchases as long as they have a phone or tablet to hand.
Mobile friendly websites clearly lead to increased mobile purchases and the Centre for Retail Research published that the UK retail industry is missing out on £6.6bn per year due to lack of investment into its mobile offering and it is suggested that B2B mobile sales are heading in the same direction. Excentra stated that mobile optimisation for B2B businesses is now an essential update as opposed to ‘a good idea’, however despite figures showing increases are starting to happen, there is still room for growth and improvement in mobile B2B sales.
According to data from Google’s Think Insights, 29% of users cite the inability to see detailed product information on a smartphone as one of the main barriers to purchasing and without mobile optimisation customers will very unlikely receive a satisfactory browsing or shopping experience. In its simplest terms, a responsive design shifts the layout of your website, improving usability on a mobile, so users will not have to pinch and zoom to view the information they require, ensuring it is clear and simple to navigate.
Any company with a poorly configured site for smartphones users or without a mobile optimised site, are likely to see a drop in their Google organic rankings on mobile devices. In 2015, Google announced that they were expanding their use of “mobile friendliness” as a ranking signal, for sites that were not mobile optimised. This change could potentially lead to companies losing Google mobile search ranking due to their websites not being mobile optimised.
Kite Packaging, one of the UK’s leading packaging distributors unveiled its latest innovation for its online business www.kitepackaging.co.uk this year – which involved a complete re-design of their website. A long term project of the Web Development team involved months of hard work and research with a key focus on user trends, comments and feedback.
The website has been given a complete makeover, boasting a slicker design with fresh looking pages to give a more modern appeal. Kites signature green is visible throughout the site, complimented by grey and white for a clean and simplified look.
Mobile optimisation and functionality have been the key considerations in this impressive re-design, managed and implemented by Kites in house team. Seeing smartphones overtake laptops as UK internet users’ number one device for getting online, demonstrated the importance of mobile optimisation to Kite Packaging. The new feature will now see customers comfortably shop on a smartphone, tablet or desktop and receive the same positive user experience.
As part of the re-design, the text size has been increased, and the team have developed a left navigation tab which incorporates a drop down menu allowing content to be placed into sub-categories that are easy to navigate, allowing customers to find the products/information more efficiently. Kites most popular products are still featured in the main body of the homepage so that users can quickly click through to purchase. Kite has also changed images throughout so that users can get a better view of the products.
“Related product” is another area which has been developed to improve the customer shopping experience, saving customer’s time when shopping on the site, along with the re-development of the product pages. This will support customers in finding product information, guides and demonstration videos they need more effectively.
Integrated throughout, the functionality has been improved, particularly in areas such as the basket which incorporates a better layout and information on how other customers complimented the product with an ‘other customers also bought’ feature, allowing customers to see other items they may truly be interested in or require.
As well as the existing product search tab and searching by size feature which can be found above the navigation bar, Kite have now incorporated a conversion tool on the top right of the homepage, this allows customers to enter any dimension in to the box which will automatically calculate the conversions. Kite have also worked on improving customers size search in the product tables, selected tables now incorporate the option for customers to view particular products in a range of different dimensions.
Kite has incorporated an express checkout, allowing users a fast and easy way to purchase without having to register beforehand. Once a customer is ready to complete their purchase, they don’t have to fill out pages and pages of personal details and create an account before they can make a purchase.
Kites new website is now live to be enjoyed by all, and customers have been sharing their satisfaction with regards to the ease with which it can be used to browse and place orders.
For more information on Kite products and services, visit www.kitepackaging.co.uk