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Which eCommerce Platform is Best for Mobile Browsing?

19 March 2014 by Daniel Lewis


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Any developer worth their salt knows that an eCommerce site needs to be optimised for mobile use. More than half of all UK adults own a smartphone and the amount of people using smartphones to access the internet has grown 13% in the past year.

So, with that in mind, which eCommerce platform suits mobile best? Let’s take a look:

Shopify

When you build your site with Shopify, you can be sure that it’ll be suitable for mobile. It uses HTML 5, which is compatible with all smartphones, while it’s just as secure as its regular desktop site. It allows you to create two different themes: one specialised for regular desktops, laptops and tablets, and another for mobile phones.

The platform is also reasonably customisable to help you adapt your site for mobile devices. For instance, although Shopify will decide whether to present a mobile or desktop theme based on your browser’s user agent, you can still use script to adapt this and present a mobile theme for other platforms.

As an example, this Shopify blog shows you how you can use JavaScript to make your website look like a mobile site on an iPad.

What’s more, thanks to Shopify you can even manage your site from your iPhone. Check out the Shopify Mobile iPhone app, which allows you to see relevant information, sales statistics, products and customer data.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce doesn’t have a mobile app from which you can track how your site’s getting on, but they can allow you to view your statistics from a mobile-friendly dashboard.

On the front end, BigCommerce is adapted for mobile usage, and you can also disable or enable it on various devices. However, although there are hundreds of desktop themes available for BigCommerce sites, you’ll only be able to use one mobile theme.

That means that any BigCommerce sites that are enabled for use from mobile devices look the same – not great if you’re looking to stand out from the rest. What’s more, the mobile theme isn’t responsive, which means that your site won’t adapt itself based on the size of each visitor’s screen size and could cause usability problems.

Volusion

Volusion does have an app that you could use that allows you to check your stats when you’re out and about, but if you do want to make any changes from the back end then you’ll have to use the desktop site, which isn’t ideal.

This platform does have a mobile theme, but it has to be turned on and it isn’t able to discern which browser the visitor is using. And like BigCommerce the platform isn’t responsive and won’t adapt itself to individual cases. What’s more, it’s not customisable unless you’ve plenty of time and skill in adapting code.

Last year, Volusion didn’t allow users to actually buy on its mobile sites. So if you were browsing on a Volusion site, you’d be able to browse through products and select which you’d like to buy and put them in your cart, but when it came to entering your details you’d have to do so on a desktop site. Nowadays, customers can complete their purchase solely on a mobile friendly platform.

Magento

Like Shopify, Magento allows you to create your own theme to ensure that mobile users enjoy a responsive theme that’s suitable for their phone. What’s more, these themes can be created individually to suit a range of different browsers and ensure a more specialised experience for users of iPhone, Android and tablet devices. However, these individual themes do cost, and aren’t particularly cheap.

However, Magento also allows you to have your very own app from which prospective customers can view a mobile version of your site. This is a great option if you have a strong brand that you know people will love accessing on their phone – with less chance of them decanting to a rival site.

Magento could be a great option if you’ve plenty of budget to spend, but the prices involved mean it isn’t the right choice for everyone.


Are you looking to build an eCommerce platform to build and make the most of mobile traffic?

TheGenieLab can help. Talk about the options available to you with our team of expert developers today – call 01633 415 364 or enter your details online today.


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