Mobile sales were a relatively minor portion of the ecommerce market in 2010 or even 2015, but they’ve been growing rapidly over the last few years—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter what industry you’re selling in, you can no longer afford to ignore potential mobile customers.
In this article, we’ll take a look at four of the most effective strategies ecommerce vendors can use to optimize mobile, and how to create a personalized ecommerce experience.
1. Optimize the User Interface
While confusing site designs were normal in 2000 or even 2010, contemporary internet users expect websites to be highly responsive and easy to use. Cleaning up the user interface and following the UI design trends, will make your site much more approachable and improve your performance on every relevant site metric including bounce rate, average session length, and conversions.
Keep in mind that users on mobile devices expect an even more fluid experience compared to visitors who access your site on a desktop or laptop. Your top priority should be to make it as easy as possible for smartphone and tablet visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for in as little time as possible.
While creators often used to create entirely separate sites for mobile users, it’s now more common for them to implement responsive designs that automatically adjust to the specific device a visitor is using. WordPress and other popular website builders offer built-in responsive designs, making it easier than ever to create a site that works on all devices.
If mobile users are having trouble with your site, improving the user experience should be your top focus as an ecommerce vendor. Check out Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to see how your site stacks up to the competition when it comes to mobile optimization.
2. Improve Your SEO
When a user visits your site, they’re almost always interested in something specific. The longer it takes them to find that thing, the more likely it is that they’ll click away from your site and start looking for it somewhere else.
On top of that, the way your site is designed will also have an impact on how easily users are able to find it through search engines in the first place. Almost no searchers will keep looking for a search result beyond the first page, so finding a way to show up near the top of the search results is crucial when it comes to attracting mobile users to your site.
The simplest way to make your site more visible on Google and other search engines is to optimize it for mobile devices. Along with keywords themselves, Google also looks at a website’s usability and performance metrics to determine its eventual position in the search results for a given term.
You should also be trying to take advantage of Google’s rich snippets feature to give your search results more real estate on the screen while providing users with more information about your site. While there’s no direct way to ensure that your site will appear with a rich snippet, strong content and SEO will increase your chances of receiving the extra space.
3. Reduce Loading Times
Long loading times are one of the simplest and yet most persistent problems for website creators. Again, this is a particularly pressing issue when it comes to mobile users, who generally have even less time to spend waiting for your site than users on desktops and laptops.
If your site currently takes longer than three seconds to load on average, you have a serious problem with optimization. Even sites with loading times under three seconds should still be looking for ways to keep bringing that number down. Every fraction of a second you can shave off your loading time will prevent a small percentage of users from leaving before they even reach your site.
Fortunately, there are a few reliable ways to improve your performance on mobile devices. Flash, for example, might not slow anything down for the average desktop user, but it can cause significant problems on mobile devices. The same is true for large images and videos that can take several seconds to load.
To minimize loading times, start by using lossless compression to reduce the size of your image files without hurting their fidelity. You can also install lazy loading plugins to prioritize elements above the fold—in other words, those that are visible at the top of the page—and only load the rest of the content as users scroll down.
Finally, take some time to remove any redundant scripts for your site, or hire a professional developer to clean them up for you. Even seemingly minor issues in scripts can have an ongoing effect on performance and prevent your site from reaching its full potential.
4. Streamline Checkout
Users who make it all the way to your checkout sequence represent some of your most valuable and engaged leads. With that in mind, you don’t want inefficiencies in your checkout process to turn any visitors away right at the point when they were about to make a purchase.
Of course, some abandoned carts are inevitable, even for the most optimized mobile sites. Optimizing checkout will minimize the percentage of users who abandon their items and help you move more leads through the sales cycle.
Make sure that visitors can complete a purchase without making an account on your site. They should also be able to pay through PayPal, Apple Wallet, and other third-party platforms along with their credit and debit cards. Adding extra payment methods will increase your potential audience and help you avoid losing sales.
If you aren’t proactively optimizing your site for mobile devices, you’re missing out on a substantial source of revenue that your competitors are already taking advantage of. These tips will put you at the front of your niche and make your site experience more seamless for all mobile users.