In 2009, research firm ComScore, said that more than 234 million people in the States used a mobile device. Industry experts also peg the number of iPhone users at somewhere around 21 million and BlackBerry owners at more than 28 million. For small e-commerce Web shops, that is a huge number of potential customers you could be missing out on if your Web shop cannot be viewed properly on mobile devices.
The biggest problem for mobile device shoppers is that sites that aren't optimized for mobile browsing and shopping offer poor usability; both poor viewing quality and limited functionality. On a PC your Web shop might look great and work well, but load that same Web shop on an iPhone and your customer has to scroll through 2 to 3 inches of the Web site at a time, and some features of your shop may not work or display correctly.
CoreCommerce 7.7 Offers Free Mobile-optimized Storefronts
Designing a mobile version of your ecommerce Web site may exceed your own technical and design limitations, but thankfully a number of e-commerce platforms, like Sum Effect Software's CoreCommerce Platform, make it easy for Web shops owners to offer mobile-optimized versions of their sites.
Designed for the small business retailer, the CoreCommerce shopping cart platform offers flexible payment processing, shipping integration, Web shop templates, SSL security and more. The service is a good choice for businesses that want to add e-commerce to an existing Web site, to replace their current shopping cart provider or to build their first online store.
Matt DeLong, president and CEO of Sum Effect Software said that the new mobile features give all platform customers the capability to reach millions of smartphone and cell phone users in the global mobile marketplace.
CoreCommerce 7.7's mobile-optimized storefront in is designed to automatically detect if a mobile device is being used to access the Web shop. If the software detects a device, it will instantly adjust and optimize the storefront display for these smaller screens.
DeLong says that the company rolls out new CoreCommerce features every couple weeks, and back in January of this year they noticed a lot of "mobile commerce chatter" from their customers. "We listen to our customers, worked on developing the mobile-optimization for the platform, and rolled it out. So far it has been well-received."
A key aspect of offering mobile-optimized storefronts to customers is ensuring that the feature is easy to use. DeLong said that the feature is automatically enabled and that customers dont need to do anything different to offer shoppers mobile versions of the Web shop.
CoreCommerce 7.7 Support, Availability and Pricing
Current CoreCommerce customers will automatically upgrade to version 7.7 at no extra cost, and the platform includes the mobile storefronts at no charge. CoreCommerce accounts start at $24.99 per month, with no additional per transaction fees.
Other platform features include social commerce options which, for example, let you post your storefront on a Facebook profile tab, complete with checkout options so shoppers can purchase from your store right from the Facebook interface.
The mobile commerce storefront supports the iPhone and Blackberry mobile devices. DeLong said that future updates to the CoreCommerce platform will include more mobile options, such as support for other popular mobile devices and the capability to track which mobile devices access your storefront.
Vangie Beal is a veteran online seller and frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.
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