Mobile phone traffic to eCommerce websites has increased exponentially in the last few years. According to a Shopify study, when they looked at more than 100,000 eCommerce stores, they saw 50.3% of traffic coming from mobile (40.3% phones/10% tablets) and just 49.7% from computers.
This study exemplifies the importance of mobile. It demands we talk about what is working on mobile today for eCommerce websites.
Let’s talk about design and development strategy as well as some unique marketing strategies for mobile users.
Responsive Web Design
We’ve talked about mobile conversion rates before and how important it is that your eCommerce website be responsive and mobile-friendly. (see my note at bottom of post about mobile testing). A responsive website changes size and adjusts to the users screen size. This is so important to the success of your eCommerce experience.
ECommerce sites designed with responsive, mobile-friendly design convert customers. One study found that if a site isn’t mobile-friendly, 61% of people said they’d take their business elsewhere. In addition, if the site was mobile-friendly, 67% said they’d make a purchase.
If your eCommerce site isn’t yet mobile-friendly, it’s time for a refresh. Keep in mind the things your customers are looking for most often on their phones:
- A powerful search function. This should be near the top of the screen so your customers can find that gorgeous cherry-red skirt they saw in the latest edition of Vogue.
- Your phone number – think a nice-sized click button to call.
- Any easy way to send you an email. Think contact form.
- Your location, if you have one.
- Your specials.
- Many customers want the ability to go to your full site. Make sure you provide that option.
Mobile Design Patterns
As people move away from traditional desktop experiences towards mobile-optimized sites, you can give them a better shopping experience. How? You can use design patterns to guide them.
Let’s talk about mobile site functionality. Here are some areas you should pay attention to:
- Landing page
- Suggested search, results and sorting
- Product pages and galleries
- Your cart
- The ability to check out as a guest or create an account
It isn’t always necessary to recreate the wheel. Stop and think about the last time you were on your phone shopping for something. Which site did you like? Which one made you nuts with its difficult navigation? Consider the site you liked and borrow their design patterns.
For example, their search button is at the top of the page. You liked that, so make sure your eCommerce search is at the top of your mobile site.
When it comes to design patterns, the “home” page on your mobile site isn’t the pretty brochure page of years past. It’s one (or should be one) of ultimate functionality. Anticipate your consumers’ needs and give them easy access to your site.
When it comes to navigation or click-able areas, make sure your finger “fits.” Try to avoid the finger-pinch. Buttons should be obvious and large.
Suggested search is a great thing to add to your site. Typing on a phone can be difficult, so help your customer out and do some of the typing for them.
When it comes to your products, there are two design options here:
- One long page of all of the searched for product’s information.
- A page with tabs and/or accordions that allow the customer to click on the information they’d like.
Consider testing each of these. A/B testing can show you which way your customers prefer.
When it comes to checkout, allow your visitor to either use their account or sign up for a new one. Anything you can do to simplify the process will be appreciated by the customer.
Mobile Buyer Personas
Columbia Business School identified five types of mobile buyers. To market your eCommerce website for mobile, it’s good to understand these personas.
- Exploiters: These folks are focused on the deal. They’re more likely to purchase when offered free shipping or online loyalty rewards.
- Savvys: These shoppers compare prices, but you can persuade them to purchase anyway.
- Price sensitives: They always want a deal. Price matching and rewards intrigue them.
- Experience-seekers value the experience as well as the price.
- Traditionalists prefer to shop in a store and not online.
Think about the customer who visits brick and mortar stores to see the product in person and then heads online to find a better price. Consider the social shopper who follows the latest trends, fashion reports and celebrities. You can convince them to buy about anything. Lastly, don’t forget the mobile shopper who does it to pass time.
What do these mobile personas mean for your eCommerce site?
Pay attention to the different types of shoppers who are looking at your site on a mobile device. You’ll need to provide them with attractive prices and a comfortable site. Otherwise, you’ll most likely never see them again.
To Conclude: Maximize Your Mobile Marketing Strategy
What works on mobile today for eCommerce websites? Here’s a round-up of the most important items:
- Keywords. When mapping out your keyword strategy think in terms your customers might use.
- Sales and special offers. Customers have come to expect this of the online marketplace. You have a limited amount of time to catch their attention, so if you have a special, place it front and center on your mobile site.
- Does your site look as good on a smartphone or tablet as it does a desktop? And, don’t forget laptops and larger screens.
- Mobile apps. Do some research, conduct a survey. Find out if your customers would like to use an app. You can provide a personalized, unique experience for your customers through the use of an app. Apps are cookie-free which means your customers see less ads and can get around easily.
- Offer upsells to your customers after they’ve added an item to their cart. Make sure it’s related to the item, and your upsell has good chance of success.
The mobile climate is ever-changing. But one thing that isn’t going to change anytime soon is the need of today’s customer. They want easily navigable, personalized shopping experiences. They have little time to waste trying to figure out how to find what they want.
Side Note (Testing Mobile):
Even though I speak of responsive and mobile in the same breath, I don’t think they should be considered the same in testing. When you do testing whether it’s with responsive design or straight-up completely different mobile than desktop design and implementation strategies, remember to test them SEPARATELY. Do not look at mobile and desktop (I include tablets similar to desktop, not mobile) the same in your testing. I always suggest you test mobile and desktop separately from each other, even if you’re designing using a responsive framework. Mobile users and desktop users certainly behave differently in the way people react on these very different devices. Just an FYI.
Interested in a mobile marketing strategy? Looking for ways to increase your visibility? We’re here to help you squeeze more profit out of your mobile-friendly, responsive website and help you utterly dwarf the competition. What’s more, we guarantee results. Contact us today to increase your website’s conversion rate!