Ecommerce is going mobile, whichever way you look at it, from over 50% of traffic in 2021 now coming from mobile devices to an estimated 44% of online sales being on mobile devices by 2025.
And that is why Ecommerce website owners need to pay attention because if they delved into their current analytics, they would probably find that a good percentage of their traffic is from mobile devices, so how do you capitalize on this and turn this traffic into paying customers?
Well it basically falls into 3 main elements that combined aim to give the user the best experience when shopping online, these are:
- Site Speed
- Optimizing the on page experience
- Streamline the checkout process
And you want your customers to have a good experience on your site as they are more likely to remember a bad experience than a good one and as they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression!
One of the fundamentals of user experience is site speed, even Google have made this more of a priority with the Core Web Vitals metrics that they introduced in May 2020, which has a strong focus on mobile performance.
And if your site is slow, it can not only impact bounce rates as 40% of customers would leave a site if it took longer than 3 seconds to load and as both site speed and bounce rate are ranking factors for Google, having a slow website can also impact on your SEO.
But site speed also impacts on conversion rates as a 2020 study by Deloitte found that a 0.1 seconds decrease in load time lead to an 8.4% increase in conversion rates and a 9.2% increase in average order value, so speed truly does matter.
So what are some of the things you can do to improve site speed?
1. Use Web Optimized Images
In most cases, the largest element on a page are images and as every product page has a product image (well it should do!), you want to make sure that you are using an image that has been optimized for use on websites, so that it is:
- The Right Size – many websites make the mistake of uploading images that are way too big, so check with your web builder to see what the ideal sizes for images are
- The Right Format – not all file types are the same and generally JPEGs are smaller file sizes than PNG but you may also want to consider using WebP as that offers more compression than JPEG, without compromising quality
- Optimized For Web – if you have access to Photoshop, then you can use the save for web feature that compresses the image so that it is optimized for web use. Online photo editors such a Canva also do this when you download images from them
Correctly optimized images can be considerably smaller than normal image files and the smaller the file size, the quicker it will load.
2. Keep the Number of Elements on a Page to a Minimum
Every element on a page has a size to it and each one of these needs to be loaded when a potential customer visits your page and it is for this reason why you want to keep the number of elements to a minimum as the lower the total size of the page, the quicker it loads.
3. Try and Avoid Using Pop-ups
Lots of marketers like using pop-ups to capture email addresses but they can be a hindrance to mobile performance as they are another element to load and sometimes they can be delayed in appearing, which if you have ever experienced this yourself, can be very frustrating.
There is also a potential secondary negative to using pop-ups as you are putting a barrier between your product page and the customer and from a user experience perspective, you want to get their eyes on the product as soon as possible.
4. Avoid Redirects
Redirects can cause web pages to load a lot slower as the site is trying to bring up the right page but might go through 2 or 3 versions of the URL to get to the one that works. Common redirects can include:
- Going from a http url to a https url
- Going from a non www. to a www. url
- Redirecting from an old product page using a 301 redirect
It can sometimes be a combination of these and not only does it take longer to load but it might not look good to potential customers as it may seem like the page keeps reloading.
So make sure that your website is set up properly in terms of URL structure to help avoid these annoying redirects.
Optimize the On Page Experience
Now that you have got a potential customer on your product page, you want to make sure that their experience of this page is a good one, so what can you do?
5. Design for Mobile First
As I said at the start of this post, in 2021 traffic from mobile averaged 55% for the year and this is likely to grow and this is why website owners need to start adopting a mobile first philosophy to their design.
And the Minimum of this is that you need to be using a mobile responsive theme or template for your website, if you aren’t doing this, then your site won’t look good on mobile devices.
The next thing you should be doing when designing your site is to use the mobile viewport that most of these customizers have, so that you can check how the designs look on mobile devices.
You also want to check how your site appears on an actual mobile device, so use your own phone to check and also a friend or family member if they use a different device or operating system to see how it looks.
6. Navigation and Search
The next step is to check out how well other parts of your site function on mobile devices, such as:
- Navigation Menu – is it easy to open? Are the headings clearly displayed? Is it easy to open sub-menus (if you have them)?
- Search Function – does the search function work properly and is it easy to use?
These might seem trivial but when you look at where navigation menus and search bars usually appear on mobile devices, they are at the top of the screen, which is an area most people don’t really use all that much, so you want to make sure they both work and work well.
I would recommend getting input from friends and family about this, get them to try it and ask them for honest feedback as there might be something that you have overlooked.
This is something that should be done anyway but you want to make sure that ALL the pages on your sites are running on the https protocol, this is because you want to show customers that your site is secure and browsers such as Safari and Chrome, will let people know if a website is not secure.
And if people see this, it can knock their confidence in your site and they may opt to go and shop elsewhere.
Streamline The Checkout Process
When a customer decides that they want to buy from you, you want to make the process from clicking the add to cart button (or whatever you have) and the order confirmation page as easy, quick and efficient as possible.
8. Keep the Number of Pages to a Minimum
You want to minimise the amount of clicks your customer has to make and they best way to do this is to limit the amount of pages you have in your checkout process and the Maximum you need is:
- Cart Page – where they review their order
- Checkout Page – where they enter their payment and shipping information
- Order Confirmation – where they confirm everything is correct and complete the order
Any more than this and you are just placing too many barriers between your customer and the order complete page.
9. Reduce The Number of Forms
Filling in forms on mobile devices can be frustrating and filling out multiple forms can be downright annoying!
And it is for this reason, you want to keep the amount of forms your customer has to fill in to a minimum and if possible, allow them to use autofill on your site as this can make things a lot easier.
But really, the only form that the customer should be filling out is their Shipping Address and possibly their Billing Address if you need higher fraud protection but any more than this and you are increasing the chances that they will abandon their carts.
10. Enable Guest Checkout
Not everyone wants to create an account on your site, this might be a one and done kind of transaction or they may be in a rush, so by enabling guest checkout, you can let customers quickly and easily place an order and get on with their day.
11. Offer Free Shipping
One of the biggest reasons for abandoned carts is unexpected shipping costs as many customers now expect free shipping, it also ties in with streamlining the checkout process.
This is because the customers have an idea of what they are spending before they start the checkout process as they have seen how much the product costs and if the shipping charges seem unreasonable or disproportionate to the value of the item they are buying, then it can be enough to cause them to go and shop somewhere else.
Whereas if you are offering free shipping, the customer feels comfortable with what they are paying and also feel like they are getting something for free, which gives them more encouragement to go through and complete the order process.
It also doesn’t have to cost you as a business money as you can factor the shipping costs into the retail price of the product and if the customer buys multiple items at the same time, it can make the transaction more profitable.
12. Offer Mobile Friendly Payment Options
Mobile devices are dominated by two companies, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android and both of these companies offer their own payment options (Apple Pay and Google Pay), which can make purchases on mobile devices significantly easier and quicker.
By implementing these two payment options on your ecommerce site, you could increase conversion rates by up to 20% over offering standard payment options.
Implementing these payment options has also become easier as most major ecommerce platforms offer these two options as long as you are using a payment processor that supports them such as Stripe or Adyen.
By combining Apple Pay and Google Pay with more traditional payment options such as PayPal and Credit Cards, you are offering more choice and flexibility, which can lead to an increase in conversion rates.
When it comes to improving your conversion rate, you don’t just want to implement everything and hope that something works, you want to take an analytical approach to this and this is called A/B testings and to do this is quite simple:
- Take the data from a selected time period (2 weeks, 1 month etc)
- Then implement a change and run with it for the same time period
- Compare the data from the two period to see if anything changed or improved
Then repeat this process again and again until you find a formula that is optimal for your website as every ecommerce site is different and what works for one, won’t always work for another.
Boosting your mobile conversion rate often doesn’t need to be a major overhaul of your ecommerce website but instead is about making small changes that can often make a big difference.
So take some time, have a look at your own site and come up with a plan of what and when you are going to change things and start working towards increasing your conversion, while continually monitoring your analytics to see what is working and you should see an increase in sales.