Mobile e-commerce apps: I don’t see it.

If you follow the Magento blog, you’ve probably noticed that Magento launched a new product: Magento mobile (limited release a.t.m.). It all looks pretty cool: it’s a way to have a native mobile app (now on iPhone only, but they plan on releasing Android and iPad too) for your Magento store and to manage the app through your Magento admin. You can also take a look at a demo video of The North Face Magento app that is scheduled to launch somewhere in June. I do think mobile will be the next big thing in e-commerce and I’ll say it again: Magento Mobile is really cool.

But I don’t see mobile e-commerce apps go big.

At least not in this form. I don’t think that a customer would install a bunch of apps from websites they might sell a product on. Sure, it might work for the really big sites/brands you buy regularly from. But I’m not going to install an app for every store I’m going to buy a product from. And compared to a good mobile website, I don’t see an advantage for the app. You will need a (quick) mobile internet connection for both to work properly. You can use your account on both with the same shopping cart, same wish list, same products… A native app might run a bit faster, but I don’t think that’s going to convince customers to go to the app store, search for an app, download the app and launch the app. It’s faster to just go to the  store through a browser. So I’m in the dark about the added value of a mobile app for the customer.

And why should the shop owner push it’s users to a mobile app instead of a mobile website? Again I can’t think of enough advantages to justify the investment in apps. Sure, an app enables you to use the phone’s camera, GPS or push messages. And some of the big companies will come up with some cool stuff to do with that. But the current Magento mobile just looks like a regular storefront, I couldn’t find anything unique you can do with it compared to a mobile site.

Maybe the future will tell me wrong, and that’s ok, but for the near future I don’t see mobile e-commerce apps go mainstream in the form that Magento Mobile is presenting it right now.

Are you a Magento shop owner that wants to ‘go mobile’? For the time being, I’d say you’ll do fine with ‘just’ a mobile theme.


101 ways to speed up your Magento e-commerce website

As you probably know by now, Google is Using site speed in web search ranking. And I couldn’t agree more: speed is important for your site, and not only for Google but mainly for the User Experience (UX) on your site. Research from Google and Microsoft shows that slower websites convert less and that the effect of a slow website is lasting.

Sidenote: As a psychologist this might be a form of Déformation professionnelle, but I kinda hate it when people always talk about optimizing for search engines/ Google. Don’t optimize for Google, keep in mind that you optimize for your users!

Ok, so nothing new so far (I hope), but what about the speed of your Magento platform? If you’re serious about e-commerce, 9 out of 10 times Magento will be your best choice overall when looking at features, flexibility and TCO. But there are some complaints about Magento being a very slow system and as I just explained: that isn’t good for your UX.

And although most of these complaints aren’t always fair (off course you’re Magento site is slow when you put it on a cheap shared hosting with 200 other websites!), we all know that of the box Magento isn’t the fastest boy in the class. So that’s where this list comes in…

Below is the list with 101 ways to speed up your Magento site… Well ok, at the moment I have only 30 45 54 62 ways, but if you help me out we can make it to 101! When new suggestions come in, I’ll update this post with additional ways to speed up your website. When more tips come in I’ll probably start categorizing them to maintain an overview.

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