Why e-retailers should get Fire-phone-friendly, if they aren't already (and they most likely aren't)

Posted by Ari Weil on July 30th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Walgreens, Sears and Costco are three of the biggest names in e-retail, but they are an example of the many retailers not optimized for Amazon's new Fire phone.

The Amazon Fire phone began shipping on July 25. But, only one in five retail mobile (m.) sites recognize the device. In short, Fire phone users will have an inferior shopping experience on nearly 80 percent of retail sites.

For shops like Walgreens, Sears and Costco, the impact of not optimizing for a mobile device will only grow if the Fire phone catches on. Fire phone optimization should be a hot item for any brand looking to maximize its reach.

Who's open for business on the Fire phone?

After running tests on 150 of the top mobile retail websites, our mobile and web optimization company Yottaa discovered that a majority of users (78 percent) browsing on Fire phones will be shown an unoptimized desktop version of the site. Only 33 sites redirected Fire phone visitors to mobile sites.

Since desktop versions are slow-loading and aesthetically awkward on mobile, the ramifications for business can be counted in dollars lost. Unoptimized sites will likely see fewer conversions on a Fire phone, and can have longer-lasting implications for the business.  This includes damage to brand perception, loyalty and social user sentiment, which was highlighted in a 2013 EEG study on web stress.

For the 117 top e-retailers with mobile (m.) sites, not optimizing for Fire phone diminishes some of the progress made with earlier mobile site investments.

Yottaa sampled the websites via a user agent string, matching those of existing devices with the Fire platform and others, including the iPhone.

Amazon's e-commerce war chest

Amazon has integrated the mobile and shopping experience with its first smartphone—who would expect anything less from the marketplace juggernaut? The Fire phone moves quickly between web-browsing and shopping windows. And delivery is just as swift, thanks to the two-day shipping provided free with the phone plan's included Amazon Prime subscription. The advantage Amazon has on its own device makes it even more difficult for businesses to lure Fire phone customers away from the preeminent online retailer.

The effect of mobile redirects is much bigger than additional time to render. Small adjustments in copy, design and performance translate to quantifiable growth or loss in today's crowded online marketplace. If you present an obsolete website version on a mobile device, you're as good as offline.

Put another way, even if your brand can offer bargain pricing and free shipping like Amazon, potential mobile customers do not have the patience to pinch, zoom and make clicks only applicable on desktop. Not optimizing for Amazon's new phone is a surefire way to slow business.

One Response to “Why e-retailers should get Fire-phone-friendly, if they aren't already (and they most likely aren't)”

  1. Great article Ari! With new devices constantly being released with a huge range of resolutions and screen sizes the only real solution going forward should be responsive designed websites. If your website is device neutral and shows the best content for each screen resolution you will avoid issues going forward as new and innovative devices are released. Responsive design will have a slightly lower conversion rate generally but it also maximises your SEO results negating that impact.

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