Mobile users rule the internet in terms of traffic. In terms of sales, however, mobile e-commerce sales continue to lag behind those of desktop. E-commerce retailers may sometimes struggle with increasing their mobile conversion rates. In fact, only one-quarter of online sales are made using mobile devices despite the fact that the same devices comprise more than half of e-commerce traffic, according to a recent study conducted by comScore.
However, some retailers are already taking measures to convert more mobile traffic into mobile e-commerce sales, and trends suggest that those efforts are paying off. A significant opportunity exists for e-commerce retailers to increase their mobile conversion rates using the following tactics.
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Optimize for Mobile
The findings from comScore suggest that user experience issues are the top reason for the disparity between mobile e-commerce traffic and mobile sales. Creating a mobile-optimized site is, therefore, a vital step toward improving mobile conversion rates.
A well-designed e-commerce website prioritizes the mobile experience using responsive design and other techniques. When every page fits on the mobile screen and controls such as buttons are easy to tap, shoppers have a greater likelihood to convert using their device.
Google discovered that about 70% of mobile shoppers chose to abandon their first choice because pages of the e-commerce website took too long to load on their device. Reinforcing the importance of page speed, the same information from Google shows that 40% of mobile users will leave a site if it fails to load in just three seconds. The impatience of mobile users means that many of them will abandon a site before they have a chance to browse available products.
Pop-ups and other intrusive elements rank near the top factors that cause mobile shoppers to abandon a website. Users are often unable to skip such windows, and trying distracts shoppers from their intended goals. By eliminating distractions and frustrations, retailers can quickly make noticeable improvements in their mobile e-commerce store.
Simple and Fast Mobile Checkout Process
Mobile users need information quickly as they shop so they can compare prices while browsing brick-and-mortar stores. Also, they often find themselves in locations such as restaurants, buses and break rooms where many people and things compete for their attention.
Knowing the plight of the mobile user, retailers must find ways to simplify their shopping, payment checkout and payment processes. Every page, therefore, should include only information that is vital to conversion. Creating pages that are focused and simple, makes shopping easier and faster.
Some online retailers offer guest checkout processes that allow people to buy products without registering as a website user. Similarly, single click purchasing options for returning users to remove much of the pain associated with mobile shopping.
Companies that decide to retain the registration forms should take drastic measures to make sure they contain only essential fields. Choosing to use popular payment platforms such as PayPal and Apple pay can further simplify the payment process and increase conversion rates. In fact, according to Bigcommerce.com, Apple pay has already doubled mobile sales for some e-commerce sites.
Publish Relevant Content Only
Mobile e-commerce retailers must learn to minimize the amount of content they present to visitors. Such a tactic coincides with simplification and ensures that users can easily read and interpret the information they see. When more than one screenful of information is necessary, a good mobile design will put the most important content above the fold.
Web designers should use website analytics to find the most engaging elements of their sites and use that information to prioritize their presentation. The prominent placement of page elements such as product images and reviews, for example, can speed the decision making processes of mobile users who are pressed for time.
While designing for the mobile user experience, retailers must include a clear and visible »call to action (CTA) » button. Also, to minimize abandonment, every page should have easy-to-read text as well as large interactive elements such as buttons and sliders that users can operate with their thumbs.
A mobile-first design philosophy that displays only relevant content will have plenty of white space to minimize confusion and accidental user choices. This simplicity and ease of use will enable shoppers to quickly find and buy what they need before they become discouraged and leave.
Bet on a Cross-Device Experience
Research shows that a growing number of internet users begin a session on one device and then finish it on another. A user might, for example, begin shopping in the morning on his or her smartphone and then finish later in the evening on his or her desktop. Knowing this, e-commerce retailers must offer users the chance to switch devices without losing their data.
Wishlists and options to save shopping carts go a long way toward ensuring that shoppers can always pick up where they left off without losing any information. Some retailers have increased conversion rates by sending links to user sessions or shopping carts to users via email. Such a tactic reminds shoppers of pending transactions while allowing them to easily change devices.
Failing to convert mobile users causes e-commerce retailers to lose sales and a chance to earn future repeat business. To avoid losing mobile customers and their associated sales, every e-commerce retailer should consider using the above tactics to create a mobile shopping experience that is easy to use and flexible. Increasing your mobile conversion rates can create a competitive advantage that can lead to long-term profitability.
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