Buying online – I’ve blogged recently about how we trust the internet more than we do the TV – but this time it’s a different aspect of e-commerce that’s on my mind. The launch of Google Wallet has got me thinking about mobile browsing and mobile payments.
Mobile payment is by no means a new format, and the technology is much more developed in the Far East, so Google is hardly a pioneer. However, it has the power to bring the technology to the masses and quickly. So, if I were an online retailer, I’d be seriously considering how my website works on a mobile phone.
How we use the internet, whether it’s using maps to get round, reading the news or striking up conversations on Facebook or Twitter, has changed remarkably in recent years: we are doing a lot more of it on our mobile phones. Nearly a year ago, Ofcom said that almost a quarter of the UK’s mobile phone owners used their handsets to access the internet and that this number was rising.
So, as consumers are increasingly doing their browsing on the go, it is important that online retailers have websites that are fully accessible in this format. And, this format means not just one smaller size, but several. From Google Android handsets and BlackBerry to iPhones and iPads, there are a lot of different screen sizes, and a website design has to be adaptable to them all. Mobile optimisation is a must, both in terms of reading and navigating content and purchasing from an e-commerce website.
I’m looking forward to the growth of mobile payments. “Wave and pay” is the future – I already use a bank card that allows me to do that. The emergence of Google Wallet will undoubtedly speed things up. Orange is working with Barclaycard and Samsung, and O2 is planning something similar this year. We are living in an ever more mobile world.
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