Building a mobile website is a key component to improving the customer’s shopping experience.
Central Restaurant Products provides food service equipment to businesses around the world. For an organization that relies on their ability to manage and distribute thousands of products, the focus is always on the end result – their customers. For Central, building a mobile website was a key component to improving their customer’s shopping experience. The decision to build the mobile site was made easier by the fact that their website received over half a million page views from mobile devices in 2012 alone.
You can determine if your business needs a mobile website by asking two questions.
- Will our customers and sales team benefit from having information accessible at any time?
- What will the mobile site provide that a traditional website doesn’t?
Before we started development on the mobile website, we provided an analysis of Central’s current web architecture, integrations, software vendors, and operations platform to determine the best path forward. We found the current website used a number of different data sources to help customers make a purchasing decision and recommended that the current site couldn’t be “re-skinned” for a mobile experience.
Our experience with Central and their system integration solutions, which we helped to create, allowed us to recommend the best possible solution to fit their current technology offerings. This would ensure that updates to the mobile website data and functionality was streamlined and easy to maneuver. For more on system integration work at Central, which includes our method of synchronizing a database-publishing platform built by Agility Multichannel with the desktop and mobile website visit our portfolio.
Our goal for the mobile website was to create a site that functioned almost identical to the desktop site. The mobile site would provide a better user experience for customers browsing on mobile devices while creating efficiencies on the back end.
We worked with Central to develop a true, N-Tier architecture for their business. In this new architecture, the presentation, the application processing and the data management are logically separate processes. This will make it easier to implement future projects that require access to the same data.
Advantages of the mobile website for Central Restaurant Products
For Central, the advantage of a mobile website is that their products are now always available on a smartphone, whereas an app would require users to download the app before it can be accessed. While some applications are better suited to an app, a mobile website is often a practical and effective first step.
Overall, the mobile website serves as a new marketing channel and sales order entry point targeted toward business-to-business opportunities
- With a new, mobile optimized marketing channel, customers can purchase products on the go.
- By creating a site that focuses on the mobile paradigm and functions similar to the desktop site, we have helped streamline the checkout process to increase order conversion and user experience on mobile devices
- The site is now specifically designed for browsing on a variety of mobile devices and browsers.
- By creating a mobile website, any update to the site is instantly available to all users, instead of having to wait for an app to be approved through an app store.
- Attention to the speed of the mobile website was a key focus in order to minimize latency or user wait times. This will help translate to faster download speeds, which lessens the wait time and provides a highly optimized experience for the customer.
- The mobile site provides faster product searching and images are optimized for viewing on a mobile device.
- Customers can make contact with the Central sales staff via the new “Tap to Call” feature.
- Creation of a middleware API allowed us to merge different data stores into one common programming interface. In layperson’s terms we put all the heavy lifting on another layer so the website could do its job.
- Web API is now responsible for all business logic and communicating with all in-house systems
- Central can now focus their attention to utilizing this new layer for their current desktop site so that any changes made will affect both sites simultaneously, hence eliminating duplicate programming.
Along with improving the customer and sales experience dramatically for mobile users, Central’s new mobile website is now more maintainable and supportable, making it easier to grow and adapt in the future as their business needs change.
Go to CentralRestaurant.com on your mobile device to see it for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about developing a mobile website and how Connect Think can help please contact us. We’d like to learn more about your needs or offer some recommendations.