If you want to go global with your e-commerce business, it is absolutely vital your storefront is mobile-optimized. If you don’t crack this, you will miss out on a large percentage of conversions.
Whether we’re following a map, connecting with friends or shopping, our lives revolve around our phones. Shopping behaviors have been heavily influenced by the rise of smartphones and online shopping has been rising by 54% year after year.
Based on our client research, an average of 59% of visitors come from mobile phones, and 39% of our clients’ revenue is generated from mobile commerce.
As always, increasing your conversions comes down to creating an exciting, enjoyable, trustworthy and smooth shopping experience for your customers. It’s no different on mobile. It’s also not easy — which makes it a good source of differentiation versus your competitors.
Here’s how to do mobile well.
Good, Responsive Design
If your existing website works well for desktop users, you may be tempted to think that optimizing for mobile is as simple as stacking up the elements on the page and making them smaller. Unfortunately, that’s far from sufficient and is where you made your first mistake. You need to understand that designing for web and designing for mobile are completely different.
Even though it’s common knowledge that people use mobile phones more than desktops on a daily basis, most web designers are still starting the design process on desktop and widescreen. If this sounds like your design process, stop! Mobile is where to start, then build out the experience on other devices from there.
Remember that long forms, endless pages and lots of text are huge turnoffs on mobile. You need to reduce the clutter and simplify your processes while also keeping the mobile site as functional as your desktop site. It’s a big no-no to reduce the features you offer on mobile — that’s so 2008!
Searchers Versus Browsers
Visitors generally fall into two categories. Searchers, who are after something in particular and will probably use your site search, and casual browsers, who are just exploring and looking for inspiration. Cater to both by having search immediately visible and accessible (ideally with autocomplete), while offering inspiring homepage features and a simple menu.
Be careful not to send your customers on a treasure hunt on your website — visitors don’t want to infinitely scroll for the product they’re looking for. For example, make the size of your headings and buttons large and bold, and use sticky menus to make your mobile-site search instantly accessible.
Speed Is Key
Remember when we had dial-up service and we had to wait for ages to finally connect to the internet? Well, every time you aren’t optimizing your site or you’re neglecting your load time, your visitors are going through the same kind of experience! If this were happening when you tried to access a website while on the train or waiting in line, would you wait until the page finally loaded or navigate away from the site to find a better alternative?
By reducing your average load time to 1.6 seconds, you can prevent visitors from leaving, increasing your annual revenue as a result. Use a speed test to look for problem areas.
Load speed also affects how Google views your page, affecting your SEO ranking.
Some easy wins are to optimize code, reduce mobile-specific image sizes, cut out unnecessary files (or load them after the initial page load) and use more powerful servers that are geographically close to your users.
Use The Tools
Make sure you have your Google Analytics set up correctly and that you have a mobile-specific profile. Look for problem pages where you see a huge drop-off in conversions.
There are also a variety of tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to help you improve your mobile experience.
People Use Many Screens
Although traffic and lead generation is higher on mobile than desktop, more shoppers still return to desktop to make the final purchase, with a higher percentage of revenue at 51%. It’s normally easier to key in all the information needed to make a purchase on a proper computer. So, many abandon shopping carts on mobile-commerce sites before getting to that stage. Try using email as a way of reengaging customers and remind them of items left in their shopping carts. You’ll need to make collecting email addresses a priority on mobile. And don’t forget to optimize your email campaigns to be viewed on smartphones too!
The growth of mobile commerce is huge and continuing, yet many brands have failed to adapt. Make this a key part of your e-commerce strategy and you’ll reap the rewards.