With the ever-increasing prevalence of online shopping via mobile devices, more and more retailers are adapting optimizing email campaigns for portable devices. But are they doing enough to optimize the mobile eCommerce experience of their websites, once users get there?
According to Pew Internet 58% of Americans have smartphones, and 42% have tablets. However, ShopVisible’s 2013 year-in-review report found that mobile devices were responsible for 30% of website traffic but only 15% percent of online orders. Adding to this, in a comparison of conversion rates between desktops, smartphones, and tablets, Mobify reported that mobile conversion rates scored significantly lower - below 1% across industries.
These figures suggest that retailers who hope to maximize their eCommerce sales should strive to make it easy for shoppers to access, navigate, and buy from their website using devices like smartphones and tablets. In fact, Google reported that 67% of customers are more apt to make purchases when the a site is mobile-friendly.
So, what can online retailers do to create more user-friendly websites for devices? Here are a few tips.
Simplify your eCommerce site design
Web pages look much different on smartphones than on desktop browsers, and there isn’t as much room for frills. For the best display output use larger font sizes, simple page layouts, and be sure the most important information is placed above “the fold.” Keep in mind users’ more limited bandwidth by minimizing unnecessary animation and videos. Google GoMoMeter offers a useful tool that analyzes mobile site design and makes it clear where design changes might be needed.
Make navigation faster and easier
Users on mobile devices are on-the-go, and so it’s important to ensure consumers can move around the site and complete their purchase quickly and easily. Site navigation should be simple and have few levels of sub-pages or steps that users have to move through to find items or make a purchase. Bigger buttons are also ideal to make it easier to click on the smaller displays of portable devices.
Focus on the ease of the mobile home page
Navigation from the home page should be easy, with a clear and simple layout. Some of the best landing pages have minimal images and include only a set of links to the rest of the shopping experience, much like a table of contents or sitemap. Also, give customers a clear and easy path to get back to the website’s home page, should they get disoriented and want to start over. Be sure that the company’s name and contact information is displayed prominently – and in the same place on every other page, too.
Streamline the paths to purchase – but not too much
The purchasing process is crucial to mobile eCommerce success. After a user has searched the site and selected their purchases, it becomes even more important to facilitate a simple shopping cart and checkout experience. Adobe’s 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey found that “[mobile] conversion rates are directly impacted by streamlined paths to purchase—conversion should occur within three touch events.” Simply put, don’t force users to click too many times to make a purchase. Include an Add to Cart option directly from the search results. Place the shopping cart and checkout buttons in a clearly visible spot at the top of each optimized page.
At the same time, though, mobile users want to browse like all shoppers, so retailers should not compress the process down so much that users feel forced to buy too quickly. Instead, shoppers should be able to browse freely, but once they’ve decided to purchase, it should only require a few clicks.
Design a responsive website
In addition to these design elements, having a responsive eCommerce website design is vital for improving the site’s overall mobile-friendliness. With a responsive website design, a single version of a website auto-adjusts to fit different devices and screen sizes. Responsive websites are more affordable than the higher-end adaptive websites, yet they still enable users to quickly and easily find products and access shopping functions so they can more quickly complete their purchases.
Once your online store is optimized for devices such as smartphones and tablets, test the pages on multiple devices to ensure that your customers experience is optimal.
If your website is simple, user-friendly, and makes purchasing a smooth process, your eCommerce customer retention rates and profits are sure to rise. Make shopping easy, and mobile users will buy.
For other ways to increase customer retention and revenue, download our guide on Key Business Metrics for Online Retailers.