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Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular for shopping online. According to recent data, more than half (51%) of internet users around the world use their mobile phones to purchase products online and two out of every three (66%) saying they use shopping apps on their mobile devices – be it a mobile phone or a tablet.
For ecommerce business owners, this means they need to ensure that their online shop is mobile optimised. Optimising your website for mobile simply means ensuring that your site is formatted in a way that is easy to view and navigate on a mobile device.
Optimising your website for mobile can help to improve customer’s experience, making it easier to complete a purchase, therefore increasing conversion rates and revenues. It can also aid with improving website speed, which in turn can improve how well your website performs in mobile search results.
With the knowledge that more and more people are using a mobile to browse the internet and shop online, it’s vital that your website is well optimised for smartphones. Essentially you need to make sure there are no barriers or friction when a customer visits your website. In today’s world, people are busy, stressed and impatient and will not wait for a page to load or try to work out how to add a product to their carts. Therefore you need to make their experience a positive one otherwise they will not convert.
Mobile ecommerce or ‘mcommerce’ is taking off in a big way globally. According to recent estimates, mcommerce is expected to account for as much as 54% of ecommerce purchases by 2021. Global mCommerce leaders are emerging, particularly across South East Asia in Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets.
Here are some additional reasons why you should consider optimising your site for mobile:
Improves User Experience
You need to ensure your customers can navigate your website with no problems, or friction so you must make sure that the appropriate mobile optimisations have been made (see below tips). If you create an all-round positive user experience your customers will come back!
Increases the average time spent on your site by mobile users
A well mobile optimised website will keep your smartphone users on your site for longer and see them engage a lot more.
Websites load faster
When you optimise your website for smartphones, loading times greatly decrease. This is because pictures and text will automatically render at the correct resolutions
Better search results for your site
If you have two versions of your website, traditional and mobile, the smartphone version will be displayed first for mobile users. This means that you will be way ahead of your competitors if they do not have a mobile optimised site, by being further up in the search results.
Increasing mobile website traffic is not the only reason to ensure that your website is mobile optimised. Google has recently introduced mobile-first indexing, which means that sites that have been optimised for mobile users will rank higher in search engine results. This can allow ecommerce stores to reach a wider pool of potential customers.
Taking the time to invest in mobile optimisation techniques can also help to increase conversion rates on mobile devices. As many online stores are seeing more mobile traffic, ensuring that their site is easy to navigate on a smartphone is becoming increasingly important for sales revenue. Optimising for mobile also creates a more consistent user experience, and can serve to enhance your brand image and ensure your customers keep returning to your store.
Your website is often the first place of contact that your customers will encounter. You are far more likely to make a sale or retain a customer if you provide your mobile visitors with a site that is accessible and as fully functional as on a PC or laptop.
With the above in mind, here are our six top tips for optimising your website for mobile:
Optimise your page loading speed
Customers often expect website pages to load in just a few seconds, and even faster for mobile pages. Compressing media files, reducing the number of videos and images, or opting for pre-loading or lazy loading will help to speed up your website for mobile users. Faster page loading times can reduce your bounce rate and can connect your customers to your products sooner.
Resize images and icons
To allow your website visitors to easily view your mobile site content, resize images and icons so they are still easily clickable on a touchscreen, but don’t take up valuable space. Reducing image and video size can also help to improve your page loading speed.
Optimise checkout for mobile users
The checkout process on mobile devices needs to be simple and easy to navigate. Many mobile shoppers are often looking to complete a sale faster than desktop users as they may be shopping on the go or multitasking. Including payment options that give customers instant access to their payment information can also help to speed up the mobile payment process. To achieve this, your checkout process could offer payment via PayPal wallets, Apple Pay or offering auto-save for credit card details for faster future checkouts. Additionally, consider using methods such as auto-fill for address fields or copying shipping addresses into billing address boxes to make form-filling easier on mobile. Offering the option to check out as a guest can also allow for faster checkout and prevent mobile users from having to fill in lengthy forms on smaller screens. Although many mobile checkout optimisation principles are similar to desktop checkout optimisation, ensuring that your website is tailored to mobile purchases can help to improve your conversions and sales revenue.
Touch screens are much less accurate than a mouse or trackpad and your website navigation needs to accommodate for this. Compress navigation bars into ‘hamburger bars’, this allows visitors to expand the site navigation menu on when they wish to view other pages. This can save valuable space on your mobile site for more product information.
Make all of your content available to all of your users
Although images and icons may have to be smaller and some text rearranged for easier mobile navigation, this does not mean that you need to sacrifice any of your website content. Giving your mobile users access to all of the same content and information that is available on your desktop site can ensure that mobile visitors do not become frustrated and leave your site, costing you potential sales.
Test your website
Before you make your newly optimised mobile website live, run it through a mobile testing tool so you can identify and correct any problems that could affect your mobile user experience.
Mobile online shopping (or mcommerce) is quickly becoming the new normal and ensuring that your ecommerce website is optimised for all of your website visitors will allow your site to remain competitive and ensure that you keep making conversions. At Opayo we want every ecommerce business to succeed. Explore our blog for more advice on how to optimise your ecommerce website. Contact us today to find out how Opayo could help support your ecommerce store with our range of online payment solutions.