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Preparing for the Holidays: Mobile Trends

While the holiday season may seem far off to consumers, retailers know all too well that it has already begun. But just as the hot toy changes from year to year, so do the issues that retailers face. It's never too early to prepare for the holiday rush, so over the next few weeks we'll be sharing what you should know when it comes to mobile and security trends and how you can prepare accordingly. So first up: mobile trends.

Mobile is (still) changing. You think knowing that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to do their holiday shopping is enough, right? Of course, it is important to know that 37 percent of all Internet shopping traffic during Black Friday 2013 came from mobile devices versus just 24 percent in 2012. But more importantly, the way in which you have to treat mobile traffic is changing, as mobile now encompasses far more technologies than it did when mobile devices first became popular.

At first, being prepared for mobile meant having a "www" version of your website for desktop users and an "m.www" version for your smartphone users. But now there are feature phones and tablets and net books and e-readers and consoles and TVs that are Internet-enabled, which means you have to be prepared to deliver an optimized experience for users across all of these devices.

Every (milli) second counts. How fast is fast, in the eyes of the consumer? Tablet users expect a website to load in less than two seconds; furthermore, it's been proven that users will not visit a website as often if it is even 250 milliseconds slower than a competitor's site. There's not much more to say here, other than speed matters.

Why You Should Care

Web experience impacts the business. To consumers, fast sites and apps only matter if they are always available, under all traffic conditions. If your pages are too slow, you'll see less engagement and higher bounce rates, meaning fewer completed transactions and a decrease in profits.

So now what? Take some time to think about how these mobile trends are affecting your business and what you've done in the past to prepare yourself for mobile activity during the holidays. In the next part of our series, we'll take a look at security trends you should be aware of, and we'll wrap it up by sharing some specific actions you can take if you're not quite sure how to prepare.

Tell us: how have you previously prepared for mobile traffic? Have you already begun your holiday preparations?