You may be wondering, is mobile commerce important for my business? The answer to this question is without a doubt a resounding YES. Recent data shows that mobile commerce is not only on the increase but now makes up almost half of all online sales in the UK (48.9% according to Criteo’s latest mobile commerce findings), and has been experiencing 6% year and year growth. The findings also show that 39% of online sales in the UK involve multiple devices along the buyers’ journey, and that the highest percentage of mobile sales take place in fashion & luxury (55%), mass merchant (50%) and home products (46.8%).
So, with this in mind, how can you ensure that your business is capitalising on the amazing growth in mobile commerce? Well the first step is to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly and optimised for all possible devices. A responsive website is Google’s preferred method, and it is much easier to keep this up to date than having to update a desktop and mobile version of your website. We will assume for the purpose of this post that you already have a mobile-friendly website and are looking to improve its performance. However, if you are not at this stage yet click on our responsive web design page to find out more about what responsive design is and how it can help your business. If you have a responsive ecommerce website, our top 5 ways to increase your mobile commerce sales will prove to be valuable in reaching your goals.
Page Loading Time
Page speed plays a huge part in how your customers’ experience your website and can potentially win or lose you sales. Recent data shows that web users now expect a comparable website experience on mobiles and desktops, so it is worth investing time to make sure that your site loads quickly on all devices.
Take note of the following data (courtesy of Kissmetrics):
- 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of shoppers will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends if they have a bad experience.
- A 1 second delay in load time can result in 7% reduction in conversions.
- If your ecommerce site is generating £100,000 in sales each day, then a 1 second delay in page loading times could potentially lose you £2.5 million in sales each year.
A great tool to test your site speed is Google PageSpeed Insights.
All you need to do is enter your web address and click Analyse. You will then be shown a score out of 100 for your website on both desktop and mobile devices, and a detailed report with suggestions on how to improve your page speed.
It is worth noting that page speed is now a Google ranking signal. So focusing on improving this aspect of your website will benefit you, not only by increasing customer satisfaction and conversions, but also your search engine position.
Simplify The Checkout Process
If you want to increase the likelihood of your customers completing mobile purchases and also improve their mobile experience, make the checkout process as simple as possible. The shopping cart abandonment rate on mobile devices is a whopping 97%, so out of every 100 shopping carts filled, only 3 will result in a completed purchase. This is distressing news for online retailers, but don’t fret, it’s an area that can be improved with a little time and effort.
The main thing is to keep the process quick and simple. Remove any unnecessary elements from the page and focus only on the key checkout fields. If possible, remove the requirement of having to enter card details. This can be done by integrating PayPal or a mobile wallet system, so your customers only need to enter their login details to action the payment.
It is also a good idea not to force registration during checkout, but instead make this optional and inviting. Make it clear that registering will make the process quicker and easier for future purchases, but buyers who are in a rush may not appreciate having to spend additional time making the purchase.
To further reduce abandonment rates over time, implement an A/B testing process taking into account all elements within the checkout process. Something as seemingly minor as a button colour or heading position could increase your purchases by as much as 5 – 10%. So remember, the key to fully optimising your checkout process is testing, testing and more testing!
Keep Testing, Learning And Developing
In order to deliver the best possible experience for your customers, you really need to know what makes them tick. The best way to get a really good understanding of how your customers interact with your brand and how they use your website on various channels, is to collect and analyse mobile usage data.
Using conversion tracking tools such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics, can highlight issues within your sales funnel and show you where potential buyers are dropping out of the process. This information can be extremely valuable, and can act as a guide as to which areas of the funnel you need to research further. By surveying your customers about the sales process, commissioning user testing, or watching test subjects use your website, you can start to develop ideas for improvements.
Once you have ideas on how to improve the sales funnel, it is then a really good idea to implement an A/B testing process for each problem area you have identified. This process will allow you to repeatedly make improvements to the customer experience, and eliminate any barriers that are having a detrimental effect on sales.
Quality Product Photography
Product photography is a crucial element in any ecommerce site, but is even more relevant in mobile commerce. Mobile users expect to find what they are looking for quickly and without unnecessary obstructions or distractions. They are less likely to read through reams of product descriptions, and are more likely to focus on imagery when scrolling through product listings. It is for this reason that your product images need to really stand out, and take prominence on the page.
Another point to consider is that the latest smart phones and tablets all come with high definition display, and in some cases up to 400 PPI (pixels per inch). A couple of years ago it was standard to create graphics and photos based on standard 72 PPI resolution. With the high pixel density in modern mobile screens the same graphic will need to be 5 times as large to achieve the optimal sharpness and visibility. To confuse matters further, whilst ensuring your images are sharp enough and high enough resolution, you also need to ensure that the filesize is kept as small as possible, or it may have a detrimental effect on your search engine rankings. So how can this be achieved? Luckily there are a set of image attributes that allow you to specify different images and image sizes for different devices and resolutions. These attributes include:
Keep An Eye On The Big Brands
One of the best (and easiest) ways to get inspired and come up with new ideas for your mobile site, is to look at what the big brands are doing. The leading online retailers such as Amazon, Argos and Tesco, have huge budgets to spend on big data, customer analysis and A/B testing, so you can be sure that whatever they are doing, there’s good financial methodology behind it.
If you are a customer of these organisations then you can get an even better insight into what they are doing and how effective it is – How do their communication processes influence your buying activity? Which aspects of their marketing activity gives you a positive feeling when dealing with them? What draws you back to their site to have a browse? Conversely, think about which aspects of their business have a negative impact on you, so that you can attempt to do things better than them.
The lesson here is not to try to reinvent the wheel. The leading online retailers have far bigger budget than you to invest in research, so let them do the donkey work and learn from their successes and their mistakes.