Earlier I wrote a post about the most important e-commerce trends for 2015. This year, mobile commerce will finally reach beyond only being an option for most companies. Let’s take a deeper look into this aspect of e-commerce and see how your company can optimize its mobile commerce strategy and increase customer satisfaction and conversion.
Think finger friendly
People are on the go, design for these people. Forget about the mouse pointer sliding across your desktop screen. People are using their fingers to maneuver between pages and products.
Certain areas of the screen are easier and faster to interact with using the right thumb than other areas. When you design your mobile website or application, always remember the ‘thumb-friendly zone’. The image on the right shows easy, medium and hard areas for quick and efficient thumb interaction.
Making sure that the most important tasks and functions are in the ‘thumb-friendly zone’ will increase usability, customer satisfaction and thus, conversion. And with smartphones getting larger each year, make sure you keep your website and app updated.
Responsive web design is the approach that says that design and development should always respond to the user’s behavior and environment. It allows users to engage with the same content over each of their mobile devices. Check out this cool website that explains more about responsive designs, and this one with some nice examples (scroll to the bottom of the article).
Everyone keeps saying that coherence between your different channels is so important. So instead of designing different websites for different screen sizes, why not take the time and invest in a responsive website. This way you don’t have to keep designing new layouts.
RWD is even recommended by Google. They claim that it prefers RWD as the recommended mobile configuration. So if you use RWD, you will most likely be higher in the search engine’s results than if you have separate mobile and desktop site and who doesn’t want that.
Navigation should be easy to find and use
Well, this should be a no brainer. If you want people to look to your products and, in the end, buy from you then your navigation has to be easy to find and easy to use.
If you look at a desktop site, it is easy to click on the button or link you want with your mouse pointer. But if you are browsing a mobile website, and we go back to my first point here, you are using your fingers. Which makes it a lot more difficult to touch the right place.
Since mobile screens, and therefore websites, are much smaller it takes more navigation and scrolling to find the thing you’re looking for.
In the end you want your consumers to be able to find, evaluate and purchase a product as quickly as possible. That’s why navigation is crucial, it should let customers find the product or information they need without any delays or difficulties.
Simplify your product category page
Make sure you don’t have an overly complex product category page. If your images are too small and prospective customers can’t immediately see what kind of products you have, they will leave to go somewhere else.
By trying to include too many columns with product images and descriptions you are not helping your customers. It will only slow them down or confuse them which will make them leave. Don’t make it too hard for them by squeezing too much content into a page, or by showing massive amounts of products on one really long scrolling page.
Make sure you have large images and text, so it is easy to read and clickable. Have easy, simple and effective sorting and filtering tools to make your page more efficient, which will greatly help conversion.
Simplify your checkout and mobile payment process
If a prospective customer is shopping on his or her mobile phone, they are not very likely to spend hours doing that. They want quick and fast service. Make sure to reduce the amount of steps it takes to ultimately buying the product.
You can do this by adding a guest checkout, so that your customer does not have to go to a series of lists and questions in order to buy your product. If you do have a couple of steps in your check-out process, make sure to include a progress bar that tells the consumer exactly how many steps remain.
Make sure you offer different ways to pay than just credit card. Here in The Netherlands we all know iDeal, which is great for quick and easy payments, but this option may not be available elsewhere. Things like PayPal, Google checkout or even the new Apple payment system are great to make the payment process quick and easy to use.
Optimizing the mobile E-commerce experience can and will provide your customers with a better mobile experience and will help you increase your sales and conversion. Just make sure you design for your audience: build a responsive website that works and looks the same on all devices.
In the end, just be aware of the fact that desktop and mobile websites just do not work the same way and you will gain all the benefits of a great mobile website.