We’ve already seen why you should optimize for mobile; m-commerce is becoming more and more popular with consumers. Unlike what you would have thought, most consumers are not using mobile out of obligation, they’re using it at home because they expect it to be quicker and easier. Mobile users are quick to abandon with the slightest delay, and the best way to combat abandoned carts and high bounce rates is to optimize your site for the mobile user. Here are 4 ways to get your site mobile-ready.
Make your site Lighter and Faster for mobile
When optimizing for mobile, the first step is making your E-Commerce site faster. Making your site faster will accomplish a few different things: your customer is less likely to be frustrated and less likely to leave your site for a competitor’s. It will also make your site easier to find in Google mobile searches. Google wants your site to load in under one second, and if that’s not possible, getting some of your content to load first while everything else loads in the background can help.
Google offers a variety of tools to help optimize the speed of your site, but you can start by trimming redundant scripts. Your developer needs to be committed to the speed of your site, and the bells and whistles are going to slow it down.
Using Flash can result in unreadable content, which can break your results in mobile search ranking.
Images can also pose a problem when it comes to speed. If they’re too big, or they’re in the wrong format, this can slow down your loading time. Mobile customers expect a page to load in under three seconds, and the wrong image size can make or break a potential sale. Google Developers has a wealth of information on how to best optimize your images for mobile.
In addition to images, certain elements which might work fine on a PC will kill the mobile user experience. Flash, for example, can result in unreadable content, which can break your results in mobile search ranking.
Get your site Searchable
Nearly a third of smartphone users will drop off if they can’t find the information they’re searching for. Very few people click past the first page in Google searches. It’s important to make sure that your site’s SEO is working in order to appear in the first page of search results. What’s more, you have to signal to Google when your page is formatted correctly for mobile and keep your resources crawlable so that search engines can find you.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a word we hear a lot in the E-Commerce domain. This is partly because it’s responsible for new customers being able to find your site. This means using good keywords in your site’s content to make sure that when a customer searches for something specific, you land on the first page. Your company’s name is a given, it should be the first result.
A good keyword is specific, popular, and in layman terms.
Not all keywords were created equal, however: a good keyword is specific, popular, and in layman terms (unless you’re targeting B2B). Take off your marketing hat for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What are they going to search to ideally find your store?
Rich snippets are a great tool to use because not only will they give your customer even more information, but they will take up more of the small mobile screen, potentially edging a competitor out of view.
In addition to good keyword and SEO, structured data markup, or rich snippets, can be your best friend when it comes to mobile commerce. A rich snippet is a supplementary information shown in a search result by showing a product, user reviews, prices, recipes, events, software, videos, and news articles. This is a great tool to use because it will not only give your customer even more information, but it will take up more of the small mobile screen, potentially edging a competitor out of view.
Optimize your UX/UI
There is nothing more frustrating to a mobile user than having to deal with a site that’s not optimized for their device. In fact, nearly half of mobile users will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. Ease of use is a top priority for most users, so how do you go about making sure your site is perfectly functional for mobile?
Your site’s UX/UI should be quick, fluid, and simple.
Mobile users expect that when purchasing on mobile, UX should be easier than on a PC or in-store, so reduce the number of user interactions and make sure those interactions are easy to complete. Your site’s UX/UI (user experience/ user interface) should be quick, fluid, and simple. You should be able to navigate your site in a few swipes and clicks as possible. Consider your font size and call to action buttons: don’t make your users have to zoom in to have to do everything.
There are a few different ways to achieve a good mobile site. You can choose to make a separate mobile site (usually with m.yoursite.com) in a subdomain and code this site specifically for mobile users. This leaves your original site untouched while offering a mobile option for your customers. However, this can have a few drawbacks- as you will now have to maintain and update two different sites, and a mobile site might not look great on different screen sizes (think phones to tablets).
Responsive design resizes your site’s content automatically to fit the screen size of the user, which is great because it’s consistent for all devices.
Google tends to favour responsive design, which is definitely preferable when it comes to the variety of screen sizes on the current market. Responsive design resizes your site’s content automatically to fit the screen size of the user, which is great because it’s consistent for all devices. The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to make different sites for mobile and PC users. Many sites and website creating tools already do this, like WordPress for example. When in doubt, you can always check the mobile-friendliness of your site with Google.
Remove the Obstacles
Fat fingertips and tiny keyboards can be the kiss of death in the race between adding an item to a cart and making the purchase. It’s absolutely necessary to remove as many obstacles between the customer and the purchase as possible. Amazon is the master of removing obstacles, with their one-click-purchase button at the cart for their users. Keep your checkout short and sweet, and only ask for the most necessary information possible.
Keep your checkout short and sweet, and only ask for the most necessary information possible.
Social media login can prevent the unnecessary time wasted making an account for mobile users, and guest checkout is optimal for those who don’t want to make an account or use their social media account. In addition, using trusted and secure third party payment options (PayPal comes to mind) streamlines the process and makes checkout that much easier without all the messy credit card details. Auto-filling forms for returning customers can also help save time and make the overall user experience friendlier.
For certain aspects, your mobile version should make use of the unique to mobile capabilities. For example, geolocalization can be a fantastic tool-especially for those who are targeting international customers. Look at applications for UI/UX inspiration and think about what you personally like and dislike when it comes to mobile shopping. What app-like features do you like best and why? Are those features applicable to your E-commerce?
Optimizing for mobile has become obligatory for the survival of E-Commerce. With the rise of the use of mobile during the purchasing process (a good part of purchases being achieved exclusively on mobile), not optimizing for mobile users can result in a sizable dip in your sales. The key is configuring your site to be as light, fast, and user-friendly as possible. The best way to know what will work for you is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to purchase something from your own site. Ask your social circle to check your site to make sure there aren’t any headaches. However, if your design is committed to speed, functionality, and ease of use, you can expect your sales to reflect it.
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