Many of you may have noticed that I have been continually touting the importance of having a mobile-friendly website for promoting artwork. As my own webmaster, I am constantly utilizing Google Analytics to monitor the traffic to my website and how people are purchasing my paintings. Over the last several years, I have been noticing a large increase in online purchasing via mobile device and recently I took major steps to help promote and facilitate this growing trend. If you haven’t read my blog post entitled “WordPress for my New Art Website,” take the time to do so as it reveals my many motivations for redesigning my fine art website beyond simple mobile compatibility.
For several years I had the mindset that art is one of the few things that a consumer would definitely prefer to view in person or over a large desktop screen in order to see accurate color and detail before purchasing. Since the work will be hanging in a prominent place in one’s home and admired regularly, it seemed logical to me that a larger image would be required due to its more revealing nature. Believe it or not, however, Google Analytics and customer polling have revealed that nearly 30% of my online sales of original artwork originate from a mobile device. Since I have never had a painting returned, I have had to accept the fact that purchasing artwork through a mobile format is a valid means of commerce for a large segment of our populace. I really shouldn’t be surprised since you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone utilizing a smartphone, iPad, or Android-based device. In fact, industry expectations are that within the next couple years mobile devices will surpass laptops and desktops as the platforms of choice to explore the Internet. Technology is advancing quickly and modern consumers are embracing it. Newer high-tech displays are apparently becoming clear enough to attract even the most discriminating purchasers of art.
With that in mind, it is clear that in order to remain competitive, it is necessary to create websites that are going to be easily visible and usable regardless of the platform on which they are viewed. A website that can be comfortably accessed from anywhere through any device is going to get more purchasing opportunities than one that is limited to desktop accessibility. The world is changing and it is up to the modern business to change with it. In an age of impulse-purchasing, creating a website that can easily facilitate instant purchasing is key. If you miss the opportunity to make the sale, the customer is likely to move on to another website that meets their needs. Large corporations such as Sears, Walmart, Kmart, Target, Ebay, Amazon, and Sony have all embraced mobile-formatted sites because they recognize the importance of improving a mobile user’s shopping experience and small businesses should take note.
At this point, the question becomes whether webmasters need to create a dedicated mobile-format website or create one that changes its display characteristics based upon the particular viewing platform. Although either method will be effective, I previously had a dedicated mobile version of my website and found that it quickly fell to the wayside due to time-constraints that limited my ability to update a dual-site format.
For the newest iteration of my fine art website, I decided to move to a fully responsive WordPress-based platform. There are many themes available for WordPress that will reformat themselves based upon the screen width of the device that they are being viewed upon. The year 2012 has seen an incredible number of these responsive themes being created as website developers take note of the evolving mobile device trend. While WordPress may not be the perfect platform for all fine art eCommerce sites, I have found it to be the perfect fit for my needs.
As I mention in the text above, this is a fantastic time to embrace the mobile eCommerce movement and if you haven’t thought about upgrading your site for a while, mobile-compatibility might be an important factor to consider for your next site revision. As search result providers begin to serve results that they deem to be more relevant to web-surfers, improving the user experience for your visitors is something that will eventually lead to better SEO, higher visibility, and more sales.Tagged with: android, art, design, ecommerce, ipad, iphone, marketing, mobile, responsive, sell, shop, web, website