Not too long ago, I talked about the wealth that can be found in responsive web design that caters to tablet users. Today, let’s talk about smartphone users, and how you can build a brand by studying (and responding to) their habits.

In April 2014, Branding Brand published the results of its annual Mobile Commerce Index, which is the most comprehensive collection of data available regarding mobile search and revenue for apparel, health, beauty, home goods, and more.

Results of the index show that from April 2013 to April 2014, smartphone visits to participating brands’ websites increased from 9,686,235 to 17,804,155. Orders ballooned from 54,066 to 106,163, whilst revenue skyrocketed nearly 116 percent in one year’s time.

What do these numbers mean for your efforts to build a brand? They mean that if you’re not digging into the smartphone user market, you’re missing out on a virtual goldmine of possibilities.

Build a Brand for Smartphone Users

Branding Brand also tells us that between April 2013 and April 2014, 29.3 percent of all website visits (for tracked brands) came from smartphone users. This isn’t to say that other devices are lagging far behind. 22.3 percent of website visits came from desktop users, meaning that website design should be responsive – or reflexive for the ease-of-use for smartphone, tablet, and desktop users. Retail sales are being generated from all directions; however, ignoring the swelling smartphone numbers would be a grave mistake for any brand builder.

Commerce conducted through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) has become such a large part of consumers’ lives that retailers are no longer including it under the blanket term e-commerce. Instead, it has been assigned its own label: m-commerce. In many ways, this unplugged browsing and buying avenue is becoming the global method among retailers for staying connected with their most lucrative conversion and transaction sources.

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Retailers aren’t the only types of brands that will benefit from this new m-commerce surge. Banking, investment trading, service industries, and news are just a few examples of the areas that are expected to expand through mobile-device use, says TechTarget.

Simply being able to access your website via smartphones and tablets isn’t enough to build a brand. Website design should be responsive, meaning that it should have a number of versions – each one specially designed to not only fit on the screen, but to be easy-to-use on all devices, for an ideal user experience across all platforms.

Responsive web design eliminates the need for users to reposition items, expand menus and buttons, and scroll excessively on smaller-screen devices. It not only enhances the experiences of a growing audience, it shows that audience that your brand is in-tune with their needs, and that you are willing to “respond” to their preferences.

As a result of using responsive web design to tap into the growing smartphone browsing and buying sector, you will build a brand…and break into the ever-growing goldmine that is m-commerce.

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