If you are in the retail business, here are the two statistics you should be aware of.
According to Statista, revenue in ecommerce market amounts to mUSD 313,980.5 in 2016.
According to Shopify, mobiles and tablets now accounts for 50.3 percent of the all ecommerce traffic.
The two aforementioned statistics clearly describe that if you are in ecommerce or retail, more than half of your customers are using mobile phones to make online purchases.
So, if you are serious about your online business and brand (and I’m sure you are!), you will have to take the necessary steps to make your website user-friendly for mobile users. The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about a mobile-friendly design is ‘responsive’ design. A responsive design allows your website to be resized and refit according to the size of a hand-held device.
I’m sure you know by now why this idea is so great! It literally redefines your visitors’ comfort, as they seamlessly move from one page to another without the need to pinch or zoom in on their phones.
But does having a responsive design mean your website is mobile-commerce optimized?
Mobile Commerce Optimization
From experience, I can tell you that responsive websites are not necessarily mobile commerce optimized.
Mcommerce optimized websites focus on understanding the viewing habits of visitors, work to increase their level of comfort and encourage them to convert into customers on their devices.
A responsive design merely allows visitors to see a website on their mobile devices, but does not change or alter content or design to suit the needs of a mobile user, which can result in unpleasant experiences for visitors.
Today, I want to discuss a few ideas that can be implemented on your mobile website to make it the perfect fit for mobile commerce.
Design with mobile in mind
We have multiple options at our disposal when we talk about designing a website for mobile users. Michael Allen of Compuware shares some words of wisdom:
The best advice for those looking to optimize their site for mobile is to not simply see it as an add-on feature. A mobile commerce site should be designed from the ground up with mobile in mind.
We have to understand that the needs of mobile users are different from those who use the desktop.
Mobile users prefer not to enlarge, or resize content, or fill out link checkout forms and other similar tedious tasks.
Some elements of the standard desktop website might not be suitable for mobile, and ignoring this vital information can adversely affect your conversion rate.
In order to design a website that is optimized for mobile commerce, run some tests and see what your target audience is more comfortable with while buying things from you by using mobile.
When Sophie & Trey first started their website, they relied on a responsive website but soon realized (after some testing and experimentation and customer feedback) that they needed a dedicated mobile website.
Identify customer needs
Identifying a customer’s need, and fulfilling it could make or break a business. Creating a website that can be opened on different devices is not the end of the story.
Other important factors to consider include the right kind of content, and identifying features that work well for a mobile site, and those that don’t.
For instance, some site features that might need to be dropped when developing a mobile commerce optimized website.
People who use mobile phones for purchases are mostly short on time. They don’t spend a lot of time browsing products, or comparing them for prices, reviews and the like, that others may well do on desktops and tablets.
Mobile users are usually on the go, with little time to get things done. For instance, a user on the mobile is mainly looking for specific product that he might have seen in an earlier email or desktop website. So he will naturally look for search options, maybe a store locator or the shopping basket.
In case of a service website, they are more likely to use the ‘call to action’ button, or a phone number to call the business.
To make your website mobile commerce optimized, the first thing to do is to identify your customers’ needs by looking into their analytics and purchase data (another idea could be surveys), and then make these options easily accessible through your mobile site.
I love Moss Bros as their site truly represents mobile commerce optimization. They have a few important elements on their mobile website home page that are different from their desktop version. These include a search bar, main categories, store location and subscription area.
Respond to Impulsive behavior
This one is an extension of the point we discussed above. When a user visits your website from a mobile device, they (in most cases) are looking for instant information that makes mobile buying an impulsive decision in most cases.
The idea is to design your mobile website in a way that effectively responds to that impulsive buying behavior. A visitor’s journey on your mobile website should be short, and he should ideally get what he wants quickly and without much effort.
A mobile commerce optimized website should ideally focus a lot on navigation and usability. Another thing website owners can do is to use behavioral targeting. This means the website will recommend products that customers have checked before, or bought in the past.
Lulus.com is best at responding to the customer’s impulsive behavior in the most efficient way possible. They have managed to create their mobile website in a way that it answers all the basic questions a user might have, quickly encouraging visitors to move towards category, product and the conversion page.
Let’s talk about content
We talked about features and how having all the features of a desktop website, on your mobile website might not really be a great idea. But, the question is will this rule apply to content as well?
I believe not. By cutting content for mobile website, you are giving mobile users a less than valuable experience. Ideally, mobile users should be able to see all the content on your site. Just make sure that it’s customized for easy browsing so as to give mobile users a superior experience.
Let’s suppose you are using long-form content and videos of products on your product pages. When it comes to mobile, the idea is to keep the content full but fix its usability and readability in a way that it should not hurt user experience.
At the same time, avoid using videos and large images that increase page load time of the mobile website.
By streamlining sites and removing features that may negatively affect user experience on the device, you will be able to ensure quicker and more reliable mobile experience.
Nordstrom is a big brand that manages to align the content on their product pages in a way that is very easy to read for people on mobile devices.
If we were to ask which page on ecommerce websites compels most users to leave, regardless of whether they’re using the desktop or mobiles? Checkout page is the answer.
There are tons of reasons behind it. But when we talk about mobile websites, one of the main reasons is a complicated checkout process.
Ideally, on mobile there should be a one-tap checkout process so that users can save their time and purchase quickly. Quite a few applications can help you add this functionality to your website.
Once you have a one-tap checkout functionality available on your website you will notice much less abandons on the checkout page, and much more profitability for the business.
Ecommerce is an industry that is growing exponentially. More and more businesses and customers are engaging online. This is a great opportunity to expand your business, but at the same time poses new and complex challenges.
What ideas are you implementing to make your website mobile commerce optimized? We would love to hear from you!
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