Practice Management Tech Trends

MCommerce – Bathroom Stalls and Mobile Web Crawls

Written by Jim Savage

Today I want to discuss Mobile Commerce, or what has become known as MCommerce. To help with this, I enlisted the support of a friend of mine, Luke Jordon of DesignForest (www.mydesignforest.com) a web design firm that specializes in affordable web sites for small businesses using QuickBooks. I asked Luke to talk about Responsive Web Design (RWD), particularly as it relates to web browsing on a mobile device. I will follow it up with some startling statistics about MCommerce and how you can best adopt a mobile strategy for you or for your clients.

Bathroom Stalls & Mobile Web Crawls

Bathroom Stalls & Mobile Web CrawlsSome random statistics to kick this article off right: 75% of mobile web users browse websites where they’re most comfortable – and I don’t mean while on the living room couch. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty here. Taking your phone to the baño has become the norm. I’m not sure what’s more alarming – that we use our smart phones while we relieve ourselves or the fact that if your website is not mobile responsive, you’re getting left in the dust.

Many of the clients we work with at DesignForest are leaving their older website behind and having a custom responsive web design completed due to this skyrocketing statistic. Responsive Web Design is a super-dynamic approach, taking an innovative layout of coding on the website’s back-end, allowing the best possible user-end experience on the front-end when using mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Androids. This prevents the user from having to use their fingers to resize the screen, eliminates panning, and creates an easy scrolling process of the website from their mobile device. Responsive Web Design also makes a significant difference with the varying resolution sizing of desktop monitors and laptops. The idea here is that your website visually adapts automatically to any mode of viewing necessary, giving your website visitor the best experience possible.

So how do you know if your website is responsive? Is there a way to check website responsiveness? Absolutely! I created an easy step-by-step process for you to identify whether your current webpage is responsive or not. Let’s check it out together…

  1. Open up your favorite internet browser on your desktop computer, such as Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.
  2. Click on the double-box icon in the upper right hand corner of your window. This is the box in between the X icon and the underscore icon, as shown here.Windows sizing icons
  3. Your window view of the browser should have reduced in size. You should instantly see items begin to adjust naturally if your website is responsive. You will see website elements begin to stack on top of each other and other visual pieces move around.
  4. From here, click and hold the right border of the reduced browser window.
  5. Drag the right hand side of the page as far to the left as you can. It should stop you at about the width of a phone.
  6. How does the screen look now? If your website is responsive, it should have repositioned and restacked all the elements vertically on top of each other. You should be able to just scroll vertically now with ease and still see all the content, buttons, and photos of the site without any difficulty.

Poor user-end experience = Higher bounce rates = Less new customers = Less revenue for you.

MCommerce Trends

In the last few years, shopping by using your mobile phone or device has become the norm rather than the exception. According to eMarketer, up to 97% of shoppers used a mobile device while shopping in a brick and mortar store. Of course, the largest percentage of these were Generation Y, but even among the “older” baby boomers (like myself), 69% of us have used our phone while shopping.

This statistic should be alarming, thereby making the need for a mobile strategy even more critical. As more and more users are using their mobile devices to shop, as well as work, entertain themselves and conduct all of their social communications, businesses will need to adapt to this trend to succeed, or find themselves asking “what happened?”. According to an article from Flurry, based on app usage statistics, the growth in app-usage “addicts” grew 123% between 2013 and 2014. An “addict” is defined as someone who accesses an app on their mobile device 60+ times a day. This was confirmed at the airport today as I looked around at the majority of people walking through the airport terminal while focusing on something seemingly important on their phone. I even find myself, at any downtime while waiting somewhere (yes, even in the bathroom), checking my email, reading articles and even shopping.

So, using the tips that Luke shared on the trend of mobile commerce, it is fairly evident that this is the direction we are headed. I was not able find a statistic on how many people have dropped their phone in the toilet while using their device, but I would be willing to bet, there are a fair number out there. So next time you are using your mobile device while you are in the bathroom stall, think about all of this and drop us a line (just wash your hands first).


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About the author

Jim Savage

Jim Savage has been a QuickBooks Pro Advisor since 1999. He has since signed on with the Intuit Solution Provider program, which specializes in marketing to the mid-market channel. In addition, he is an Advanced Certified Pro Advisor and his company, Savage and Associates, is an Advanced Certified Pro Advisor and certified in QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBase in the ISP channel. Prior to becoming a Pro Advisor, Jim was an IT director for a major health insurance carrier and has been involved in large scale IT projects throughout his career. He is now specializing in EDI and E Commerce clients and integration with QuickBooks. Since he has referred to himself as "The QuickBooks Guy" since he started, his website is named appropriately, www.thequickbooksguy.com.

6 Comments

  • Great post Jim!

    Responsive web sites are critical. We hear this more and more now that everyone is browsing sites on mobile devices. It’s SO frustrating when you cannot even use a site from your phone. It’s a real turnoff, and it’s a fast way of losing potential customers.

  • My wordpress site is responsive, but my menu disappeared when the screen was shrunk. There is a menu option to have ‘mobile menu’ in my wordpress screen.

    Why do you have to click an option for that? Who knows. 🙂