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Mobile commerce is here to stay. With over 230 million smartphones and 327.2 million people in the U.S. shopping mobile alone, now is the time to optimize your e-commerce channels for mobile web browsers and devices. Not using mobile optimization means you are shutting out approximately 50% of your potential sales, and no one with realistic expectations about their future in business can afford to ignore that pertinent statistic.
E-commerce businesses live and die by their sales revenue, and if you want to ensure you keep earning you need mobile optimization. This isn’t the only reason you want everything on your site mobile friendly though. Your site’s User Experience (UX) will make or break every mobile sale, and if you don’t create a superior mobile UX via your site design and operation you are losing sales. How much of a difference does mobile optimization make to UX? Here are some excellent reasons why you need to be small screen friendly to maintain high UX and high sales revenue.
Over half of all mobile users bounce from a site viewed on their device if it’s loading time is over 3 seconds? If your site isn’t optimized to load fast on mobile devices, it’s killing your UX and costing you traffic. Work with your web developer or evaluate your mobile site load time on an independent website. Keep it at 3 seconds and under for that ideal UX.
The more taps it takes to buy something, the longer a customer may have to reconsider or decide not to buy after all. This is a completely controllable aspect of UX, and you need to go through your checkout process and ensure you keep every transaction via mobile device small minimum taps per transaction.
Keep your most important information relevant to purchases and customer inquiries “above the fold” (visible when the page first loads). Focus on keeping 70 percent of your most critical information on the first page, and keep the other 30 percent a scroll or two away. This is especially important if your e-commerce business depends heavily on search engines that redirect to your site from search results.
Large blocks of information, irrelevant images, and other visual junk present when your page loads are hamstringing your potential sales. Few potential customers looking for what you sell will stay on your site if they can’t find the information they’re looking for when the page loads. Keep 70 percent of the good stuff above the fold, and you will provide the UX mobile shoppers have come to expect.
Product pages are the hot spots of customer activity when they are looking to buy. If they can easily see all relevant information right on the product page via their mobile device, you’ve got the UX set up just right. If they have to rotate their screen, pinch to zoom in or out or go out of their way to see product information on their display, you’re killing their UX. Here are some quick tips to avoid this issue:
-Use a single column or two columns for product lists that lead to product pages.
-Stick to the most critical information on product pages. Unrelated reviews, recommendations, icons, and too many mobile adaptations to cram information onto the page just destroys the UX.
-Make your product page navigation simple and easy to use, but ensure your shoppers aren’t clicking the back button to review previous product pages. Most mobile-friendly e-commerce sites use a list that scrolls for previously viewed products below the fold at the end of the product information.
-When possible, do not load zoomed images in new windows after a shopper clicks on an image. This is a great way to frustrate them enough that they just go somewhere else.
Design and products may attract initial attention and garner clicks in e-commerce. It is the site UX, especially on mobile sites, that closes deals and brings in those purchases. Mobile web optimization may be a little time-consuming at first, and you may need to rethink some of your prior design choices and processes.
At the end of the day, optimizing for mobile is essential to maintaining a strong e-commerce site that earns and continues to grow. If you haven’t already, start talking to your web development and marketing people now about adapting your current system to put greater emphasis on UX. With time, you will see your sales rise, returns slow, and your online reputation grow.
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