The future of the web is mobile. Recent statistics clearly show the increasing importance of mobile devices and platforms for engaging traffic, page view rates, and business conversion, and the signs are decisive enough for webmasters, marketers, and businesses to increase their efforts to increase traffic and search engine visibility. According to IBM, 52.1% of web traffic was accessed through various mobile devices on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, when mobile traffic surpassed desktop. Moreover, according to the study, nearly 28% of online sales are derived from mobile devices, and that figure is continuously increasing.
1. Create a fast, easy mobile checkout
Mobile users are not likely to fill out long, time-consuming forms — not necessarily because they are an impatient lot, but they often have situational constraints such as using mobile while on the move or alongside other things. So simple, quick checkouts will help push them to finish the buying action. Make the form simple, and require only very basic, essential information. Skip all areas you can go without. Single-click checkout has been proven to encourage users to return to your site and think of your site in a positive way.
Here are few ways to improve the checkout experience:
Use Google Maps to fill in the address so users don’t need to.
Use visual calendar to fill in dates.
Small e-commerce sites can also offer options like Amazon Payments, which lets users log in and pay just once, with no forms required.
2. Let customers buy from their preferred device
Some users browse on mobile but prefer to complete the actual transaction on their desktop. This may be because they want to see a larger image of the product, or simply because they feel the desktop is more secure. Such users comprise a good chunk of buyers, and you cannot afford to miss them by denying them continuous syncing from one device. If they need to start a new browsing session and search for their product on the desktop in order to complete the transaction, a majority of these customers will simply decide not to return. Simply ask your customers if they prefer to transact from a different device, or if they would like to get the shopping cart through email on a different device.
3. Include only the most relevant content
You may think it’s necessary to provide as much content as possible on a product, but when it comes to mobile, it’s best to stick with the bare minimum. Because mobile users are accessing content on a smaller screen, they prefer to see only the most relevant content — no more.
Reducing your content volume will more effective if you boost visibility by making the layout better and more adaptable.
Design your layout to take up the entire screen, and display content as prominently as possible.
For better product views, replace 3D images with videos.
4. Track cross-channel sales pushed by your mobile website
Most businesses focus on only the sales figure garnered directly through use of handheld devices to calculate the return of their mobile website. But many customers buy later, via a phone call, email, or store visit. This non-mobile business conversion pushed by mobile amounts to a significant business volume.
To track cross-channel sales pushed by mobile, ask your customers where they discovered your product or brand.
You can use a Google forwarding number or a printable coupon when asking that question.
5. Optimize loading speed
Loading speed is a crucial factor in the user experience of your website. The longer your mobile site takes to load, the worse your chances are of converting your traffic. Nearly two-thirds of mobile users simply will not wait more than 5 seconds for a site to load. There are many factors that contribute to slow page loads; for example, having too many images on the site could prevent a potential buyer from browsing and completing a transaction.
Images for mobile websites should be trimmed to display responsively on various screen sizes.
A rule of thumb for mobile e-commerce sites is to display 5 product images.
Reduce the number of click-through options, as this also slows page loads.
6. Use finger-friendly buttons for smooth navigation
Mobile screens are small, and clumsy buttons and clickable links can be confusing or difficult to navigate, causing users to click on the wrong link. This often happens when buttons are too small and links are to close together for users’ fingertips. To avoid this problem, make sure the buttons and links are placed with enough space between them to allow for easy navigation.
7. Offer a variety of filters that let users narrow choices, makes, and price ranges
Mobile users generally make their selections more quickly than desktop users, and filters can help them find what they are looking for more efficiently. Providing a diverse range of filters will help make browsing easier — some examples include price, brand and make, edition, title, author, colors, finish, category, discount, new arrivals, sale out stock, etc. Moreover, providing multiple filters within categories can make your product range appear bigger than it is.
8. Use prominent buttons for a call-to-order option
A significant percentage of mobile users still prefer to order products through a phone call. Help them by providing a prominent click-to-call button, and make sure your business’s phone number is clearly displayed as well. Instead of providing a link with your phone number, optimize a button labeled call now or call to order.
For more strategies to improve your customers’ experience, see How to Deliver a Coordinated Customer Experience across Every Channel.
Anand Pancholi is owner of Designed2Generate, a web design and development company in Leicestershire, where he works to bring clients’ ideas to reality. He enjoys pushing the limits of user interaction and finding ways to create awesome reusable components within a mobile environment.