Written by Jodie Pride
21st April 2015 • 7 min read
Mobile commerce has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its potential to drive immediate business. Mobile commerce can mean in-store mobile-enabled experiences (e.g using a phone to help shop and pay in a store), and mobile-enabled eCommerce (e.g buying through apps or browsers on a phone or tablet).
Because consumers are spending more time on their phones than ever before and spending nearly as much on mobile orders as they do on desktops, retailers are designing specialised mobile-optimized eCommerce apps and mobile-web-browser shopping experiences.
Marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are already optimized, but what about if you’re using Shopify, or have Shopify Amazon integration? Without further ado, here are our 11 tips for making sure your Shopify store is mobile ready.
1. Make sure your mobile site is either adaptive or responsive
There are two types of mobile ready sites:
Adaptive sites, which are standalone websites designed specifically for smartphone or tablet screens, meaning you can reinvent your website by presenting only the information a smartphone user needs in a legible and functional format, without cluttering it with details you can effectively show on a computer screen.
Responsive sites, which recognize the width of the mobile screen being used and adjust the images and layout to fit that device.
Both adaptive and responsive sites are mobile ready and the version that’s right for your business depends on your customers’ online needs and the actions you want them to take.
2. Displays should be easy to read
It’s crucial that your site is legible on small screens – how are customers supposed to use your service if they need a magnifying glass to see things? It’s best to avoid creating a mobile site that is just a mini version of your normal website because although the page may appear adjusted to fit the width of a smartphone, images, links, and text will have shrunk proportionally, making it impossible to read without pinching and zooming.
3. Simplify the checkout process
You don’t want a complex and lengthy checkout process because as the number of steps to checkout decreases, the likelihood that a customer will complete their purchase increases. The simpler the process and the less data entry required, the better the checkout rate, and the risk of cart abandonment is reduced significantly.
4. Make sure forms are brief
Okay, so sometimes customers do have to enter data, but you can reduce the hassle of doing so by making any forms they need to complete brief by asking for as little new information as possible – remember that smartphone keyboards are a lot smaller than those used with desktop PC’s and laptops. If customers can bypass entering in credit card, shipping and billing information and just checkout by entering a username and password, they’ll be more likely to continue with the purchase. Try integrating with PayPal to minimize the checkout process.
5. Have very noticeable “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons
You need to have obvious calls to action, but this applies especially to mobile sites where most text will be small and not as obvious as it would be on a desktop. Having noticeable “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons will really benefit you here as they will stand out more than text.
6. Include any extra charges
It is always a best practice to include all extra charges (shipping, tax, etc.) upfront to ensure the shopper is clicking through to the final step: “Confirm Order.”
7. Deliver mobile experiences without compromising on key shopping features
Mobile shoppers shouldn’t have to substantially compromise the functionality of their shopping experience if they are on their mobile device instead of their laptop. Consumers expect to be able to use nearly all of the same features as online eCommerce shoppers. Yet it can be tough to have a great mobile-optimized experience that has ALL of the features, so you have to make decisions about what features aren’t as important to include. Consumers will demand access to high-value features, like discount codes, shipping offers, return processing and buy-online-pick-up-in-store options.
8. Mobile only benefits
You should consider providing unique mobile-only benefits if you want to drive traffic to your mobile eCommerce channel. Mobile-only price checking, special discounts, and flash sales are a few examples of ways you can make your mobile eCommerce experience differentiated from your desktop ecommerce one and hopefully drive more traffic to your mobile site.
9. Make sure buttons are large
Most smartphone users will be browsing one-handed, so navigation buttons and links should be easy to tap, and important information should be easily visible without the need to scroll the page.
10. Optimize page for quick loading
Any images or graphics you use should be optimized so that the page loads quickly. Your webstore pages should be reformatted to get rid of sidebars, and any Flash elements should be removed to minimize loading time.
11. Use web analytics
Use website analytical tools to find out how, when, and why your customers are accessing your site, and provide the mobile content accordingly. For example, if you are a trying to attract customers to your ecommerce shop, information regarding your main web store should be prominent (e.g if you use Amazon as well as Shopify Amazon details should be displayed on your mobile site). Provide easy navigation to areas of your site you anticipate customers will most frequently visit – the easier it is for your customer to find you and purchase from you, the more customers you’ll get.
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