If you've got a smartphone, it's likely that you've got a Bible in your pocket. Now, Lifeway Christian Resources is putting a whole Christian bookstore in your pocket, too.
Customers of LifeWay Christian Resources can now purchase the latest Christian book or Bible study, learn about upcoming events or read ministry articles on their mobile devices through the recently launched LifeWay.com mobile site.
"This mobile-optimized site was designed to help customers find the information they are looking for when, where and how they are looking for it," says Dave Thoma, director of e-commerce and LifeWay.com.
Thoma says the mobile experience is a reflection of the full version of the site specifically built after studying customers' mobile patterns and preferences.
"User activity on smartphones differs substantially over PC or tablet usage as a result of the smaller screen size," says Thoma. "We took this feedback and made it very easy for them to find articles and products on the site."
To help users find the right resource, a drop-down menu is located at the top of the site. Customers can shop by categories such as "Bible studies" or "camps" or by roles such as "church leadership" or "home and family." This top navigation bar also hosts the site's search menu, shopping cart and store locator.
If users have their "location services" turned on their phones and click on the store locator option, the site will automatically display the closest LifeWay Christian Store to their location.
Current customers can login to their LifeWay accounts at the bottom of the site or--within a few clicks--a new user can register for a free account.
According to Thoma, when people log in using their mobile devices, the site automatically displays the right-sized graphics and text.
Thoma says his team had great challenges due to the diverse backgrounds of LifeWay's customer base.
"Some customers know LifeWay only as a bookstore," says Thoma. "But many church leaders know LifeWay as more of a church resource provider for Vacation Bible School, Sunday school curriculum and Bible studies, so LifeWay has a chorus of ministry voices and subject matter experts.
"We had to balance these two main audiences with the vast number of content articles and media-rich resources available on our full site and deliver a similar, excellent experience," he adds.
Thoma says his team "loves to serve our customers online. They offer helpful feedback on how to make their experience better and are pleasant to work with. We hope we can continue to adapt our mobile experience to match the evolving needs of our customers no matter where they are."
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