Ecommerce websites have emerged at the front of the herd when it comes to running a business. In the digital world, people are using their phone to place orders for everything from food to designer goods. But mobile users are also complicated. Many are just browsing for information and will buy from their desktop later. Others need instant gratification and are out to buy right that second.
Still, however you look at it, mobile is now the primary purchasing medium. Revenue from mobile devices is higher than ever before throughout the world. So, you need to optimize your eCommerce website for mobile users now more than ever.
Here are some ways how to do just that:
There’s no longer any point in constructing a PC-based website then attempting to take those pages and convert them over to smartphone use. Those websites will never be able to function well enough to compete with a site that was natively developed solely for mobile users. Think smartphone first, desktop second. Instead of translating the experience to a smaller screen, build the experience on the small screen so you know exactly how the site will look and function. This will help create a seamless experience for your mobile users—and your attention to the needs of the customer will show.
Browsing and Buying
Most people who are shopping on their phone have two goals: they are browsing for items they want to see in store or are looking to buy something specific. A decent eCommerce website is going to be able to tackle these two goals simultaneously. The challenge, though, is delivering that promise.
But it’s not impossible.
For businesses with physical locations, think about adopting QR codes that people can scan on items they’re interested in buying later, so they can bookmark the item. Have several images for your products available on the webpage, too. For a mobile site, pages should only have the essentials—product name, general details, shipping information. Detailed product descriptions could be a turn off for mobile users, because no one wants to have to scroll multiple times.
Also, make the search box highly visible and accessible. This will help people find their targeted item with ease. Another beneficial function would be “smart search,” a feature that fills the entire screen with the search bar, making it easier to type.
The same applies to your CTA. Make it bold, noticeable, and scaled to the needs of the mobile audience. Don’t make trying to push the button feel like a game of whack-a-mole.
Speed Things Up
In 2018, Google released this statement: “The average time it takes to fully load the average mobile landing page is 22 seconds. However, research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.”
People are impatient—if that’s not obvious. No one has time to wait for your complicated scripts and flash elements to load, especially when they’re on their phone and want instant gratification.
Do yourself a favour. Check what your average load time is with:
- WebPageTest – measures site performance for both standard websites and mobile
- Pingdom – simple measurements, easy to use
- GTmetrix – provides actionable insights about how to correct load speed problems
- Google Page Insights – similar to the others
- Mobile1st Mobilizer – built for mobile phones and works on a broad range of devices
So, how do you speed up your eCommerce site for mobile users? Easy. Eliminate the unnecessary information. This means that if you streamline functions, increase the clarity, and stop any unneeded downloads from happening by compressing data and optimizing images, you decrease the size of the site and boost performance. While you might loathe to detract some elements from your beautifully crafted mobile storefront, that beauty needs to be toned down. You should also consider HTTP caching to accelerate load time.
Enable Simple Checkout
There’s another thing that should be sped up to keep mobile users happy. The checkout is one of the most overlooked parts of the user experience, and yet it is also the most pivotal moment. According to Baymard Institute, two-thirds of shoppers abandon shopping carts on mobile sites because of a poor checkout set-up. For mobile users, any friction that’s created by a long and complicated checkout process will turn them away—and they might never come back.
Here are some ways to simplify checkout for your mobile users:
- Add a progress bar to motivate people to complete their order
- Have a “click-to-call” option for order completion with a live representative or to have questions answered if anything goes wrong
- Offer third-party options like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, etc.
- Enable “checkout as guest”
- Enable auto-complete and auto-detect for Safari and Chrome browsers
- Avoid overusing mandatory fields – all you need is their name, address, and email
- Stack fields in vertical rows, not horizontal to avoid too much resizing
- Keep to one field per row for same reason as above
- Break up the checkout process over a few pages
- Trigger a switch to numeric keyboards for number input (credit/cash cards and phone numbers)
Here’s something that you might forget about. We mentioned compressing images earlier, but it’s worth repeating. Customers are engaged with the images, especially those who are buying. If the images are improperly sized, take too long to load, or pixelate when people zoom out or in, you’re doing your business a disservice. Therefore, you should work with the images while building your mobile site to ensure they don’t impact the performance negatively.
People are spending more time on the vertical screen now, leading to increased spending, browsing, and sharing from their phones. In order to increase your sales, you need to optimize your eCommerce website for mobile users. By using the tips outlined in this article, you shouldn’t have any problems getting started.