Mobile commerce website “rules” may not be necessary for success

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Barnes & Noble’s smartphone friendly site does everything wrong but has managed to get it right.

Even though Barnes & Noble has done virtually everything wrong when it comes to the typically accepted guidelines for ensuring success in mobile commerce, the smartphone friendly site still seems to be bringing in a comfortably high success rate.

The m-commerce website has a heavy page weight, it loads slowly, and it contains far too many page elements.

The mobile commerce site for the number 41 company in the Internet Retailer Mobile 500 essentially breaks all of the rules when it comes to the recommendations that have been made by Keynote, a highly respected firm in this area. And yet, despite its failing to use the best practices for its overall page construction and for its performance, it is doing quite well. According to Keynote’s Matthew Agnoli, “The Barnes & Noble mobile home page is more than twice as slow as any of the other top five sites, as well as more than double the amount of content and is much larger in size.”

Still, the site still ranked as number 5 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Mobile Commerce - RulesThis was for the week that ended on July 13. According to Agnoli, the one strong point of the m-commerce site that raised it above many others was that it held to a tremendous success rate, which was 99.35 percent. For that week, the average success rate for all of the sites on the index had been 97.96 percent, so clearly Barnes & Noble’s website performed notably better.

That said, success rate enough may not be adequate for the site to be able to hold its position among the top 5 on the list. If other sites manage to bring their own success rates higher, then Barnes & Noble could find its rank plummeting rather quickly. Agnoli pointed out that “A site needs to be both reliable and fast to ensure high customer satisfaction and to keep customers returning.”

Agnoli recommended that the Barnes & Noble mobile commerce site make a number of changes in order to improve the site’s performance and speed it up, to make it much more appealing to consumers.

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