“I can’t overstate how mobile is changing how we interact with consumers, we have to embrace these changes” Joel Anderson, CEO/Five Below, former Walmart CEO
Over one-third of all US online sales will be made via mobile devices this year. Forbes And research from comScore indicates that mobile commerce is growing at three times the rate of desktop e-commerce.
At the same time, mobile commerce still has challenges. Perhaps the most important metric in eCommerce is conversion rates. For example, research last year by Monetate for the all-important fourth quarter showed a conversion rate of just 1.5% for smartphones compared to 4.3% for desktop devices.
Mobile is an environment that presents no shortage of hurdles to overcome, opportunities for innovation, and growth potential. 45% of major US retailers rated improving the mobile experience as a top priority in a March and April 2017 survey conducted by consulting firm BRP. Forbes
Challenges in the Mobile Environment:
- Small Screens – The screen size of mobile phones make it difficult to navigate content and complete webforms.
- Speed – Slow or unstable connections may cause a site to download slowly, but the biggest culprit is large file sizes.
- Friction – A study of 650 e-retailers showed that friction cost them a total of $147 billion in potential sales. Poor mobile website design and frustrating checkout processes slow shoppers down and they abandon the session.
Your Bottom Line on Speed Dial
Double Click analyzed over 10,000 mobile websites to determine the impact of speed on engagement. It’s a fascinating study:
- 53% of visits are abandoned if the page doesn’t load within 3 seconds
- 77% of mobile sites take longer than 10 seconds to load, and the average load time is 19 seconds
- Sites that loaded in 5 seconds had 60% more page views per visit and 35% lower bounce rates than sites that had the average load time of 19 seconds
Other research estimated the impact of website speed on your bottom line:
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
- If an eCommerce site is making $100,000 a day, a 1 second page delay could cost $2.5 million a year in lost sales. Kissmetrics
The Must Have
Responsive design enables a website’s display to adapt to the user’s device and screen resolution. This is no longer optional for eCommerce sites – it’s expected by consumers. Yet according to one study, only 50% of B2B eCommerce websites have responsive design. eMarketer These businesses are losing visitors and conversions.
A mobile responsive website won’t solve all the problems. There are several other best practices that will increase speed, reduce friction, and improve the user experience:
4 Best Practices to Improve the Mobile UX:
- Decrease File Sizes – Images are the best way to tell your brand’s story, but it’s important to optimize images, reducing their size for mobile screens.
- Monitor Ads and Analytics – When a device’s browser is asked to download too many ads or provide analytics data, it slows completion of the web page’s download. Ads and analytics trackers should be monitored and assessed to help you weed out the driftwood and fine tune performance. There are tools that can help with this. Double Click – The Need for Mobile Speed
- Optimized Keyboards – Purpose built touch keyboards can be optimized for each form field the user has to fill out and reduce errors, compared to standard mobile keyboards. Larger keys make it easier for shoppers to enter credit card information and check out – and will boost conversions.
- Save Cart – Many shoppers browse on their smartphones, but prefer to complete purchases on a desktop device. Because of this, it’s important that users be able to access the mobile initiated cart on desktop later on. A study by the Baymard Institute showed that 78% of the mobile sites tested lack this functionality.
Other Best Practices
- Make sure CTAs are clear and stand out.
- Keep Forms Short – Completing a form on mobile is cumbersome. Minimize the number of required fields in webforms.
- Zoom – Mobile users double tap or “pinch”, expecting to expand or zoom in on product images. Your site should support this user behavior.
- The 5 Second Test – A long practiced test is that a website should convey 3 things to a visitor within 5 seconds, or run the risk of the user bouncing to another site:
- Who are you?
- What do you offer?
- Why should I care? (your differentiation or value proposition)
In addition to articulating these three things, the page should be designed so the visitor instantly recognizes them. For instance, if your site isn’t mobile responsive and doesn’t display well, users might not bother to zoom and scroll, your messaging won’t be conveyed, and they’ll bounce.
One Click to Increased Sales in 2018
One-click ordering technology stores the shopper’s payment information and delivery address to enable purchasing with a single click. Amazon had a patent on the technology and licensed it to Apple, giving the two giants a big advantage. In mobile, where friction and conversion issues are amplified, the edge is even greater.
The Amazon patent expired on September 12, 2017, and eCommerce platforms such as Magento and Big Commerce are now able to provide this functionality for their many clients. One- click will soon become a “must have” to stay competitive – beginning in 2018. DigitalCommerce360.
In mobile, like many areas of digital commerce, the devil is in the many details. It requires specialized expertise to recognize bottlenecks and build in best practices to create an optimal user experience and increase conversions and sales. The good news is, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have a high performing mobile site.
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