It’s no secret that shopping no longer requires consumers to step foot in a brick-and-mortar location or shopping mall. Today, the process of finding the perfect product and completing the purchase is right at our fingertips through the convenience of online shopping.
Until only a few years ago, most consumers gave into their shopping habits in front of a PC or laptop. But now, the importance of portability and Web self-service in our everyday, busy lives have lent themselves to a surge in smartphone devices that tend to our every need – especially the urge to have instant access to the merchandise we just can’t live without for another second.
Eclectic shoppers and sellers, rejoice. A startup in the e-commerce space, Wazala has created a minimal and simple user experience for both store owners and shoppers through its Wazala Touch, an innovative technology that enables shoppers of unique products to smoothly browse an online store on their mobile phones – all within the mobile device browser.
While smartphone devices such as the iPhone (News - Alert) require users to access online content through downloaded applications, Wazala Touch leaves no one out. Similar to an app-like experience, niche store owners can easily create their own online store page, which its followers can access and use to shop and complete their purchase in only a few steps.
"The mobile commerce revolution is here, and Wazala is stepping up to enter the game. It is about instant gratification, impulse buying, convenience, ease-of-use and the shop-from-anywhere experience" said Firas Bushnaq, CEO and co-founder of Boxador, the team behind Wazala. "Quite different from traditional e-commerce, mobile commerce opens doors to a vast number of users. This is a multi-billion dollar industry and growing, and we want our subscribers to be a part of it."
With Wazala Touch, small and mid-sized product sellers of unique personal brands, ranging from musicians to bloggers to boutique owners to photographers, can visually create an online store page featuring a logo, design and background – all within 15 minutes. With pictures, easy-to-read descriptions and prominent “Buy Now” buttons, an entire store is scaled to fit a mobile browser page. No need to learn HTML or CSS (News - Alert): all it takes is pasting a few lines of text and you’re up and running. Designed to work within a seller’s website, a Wazala page can also be streamlined with social networking sites such as Facebook (News - Alert) or Twitter.
It gets even better for shoppers. Through a free demo on the Wazala website, I got an inside peek into how truly easy it is to browse a catalog of products, add an item to a personal shopping cart and complete a purchase – all within a mobile browser.
I was taken instantly to a mock online store featuring toys, clocks and lamps. Upon selecting a rather modern looking clock, called the Nelson Ball Clock, the page instantly scrolled (using a familiar sliding functionality) to a pretty informative description of the clock and its history, as well as a more detailed image. Satisfied with my “choice,” I returned back to the main page to the purchasing section and gladly clicked the “Buy Now” button. Upon clarifying my choice, and the price ($335!), I clicked “Checkout,” which, of course, took me to a standard billing and payment section, typically seen during an eBay (News - Alert) transaction using PayPal.
Upon entering my name and e-mail, as well as the provided fake address, I was taken to a confirmation page summarizing my purchase and costs. With the click of the submit button, I received a notice that my purchase had been completed. Even better, a (mock) confirmation came through my e-mail seconds later.
Other features of Wazala Touch, which I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to experience in the free demo, are promotional coupons (score!) and financial and shipment tracking. And security comes first, as Wazala is integrated with Paypal and Google (News - Alert) Checkout, the two most widely used payment platforms for accepting credit cards and online payment for stores and e-commerce platforms.
Wazala Touch has been created to invoke “instant gratification,” said Zeena Bushnaq, managing director of Wazala, who added that shoppers are offered “hassle free browsing and the ability to buy through a sleek, intuitive and nicely designed app like platform. The end user will notice the ease of use, and the beauty of this experience will only resonate in their minds, thus better branding for store owners.”
Wazala Touch currently supports the iPhone and Android operating systems, and is in development for other mobile platforms.
As a novice shopper, if I do say so myself, we can use more solutions like this in our lives that guarantee seamless browsing and instant access to the digital and hard goods out there that tug on our heart strings. What I love most about Wazala Touch is that it is an extremely inclusive experience for all types of consumers – both the technologically advanced and ones that prefer simplicity in their everyday communications. I only hope to see aspiring designers, bloggers and musicians – whatever your trade may be – take advantage of this elegant and simple solution, which is sure to be a hit with savvy shoppers everywhere.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. She also writes articles for TMCnet on a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee