3 Keys to Building a Successful Mobile Shopping Experience

Smartphones and tablets are part of almost every shopping experience now.  They help people keep up with their shopping lists.  They help them find better deals online and faster than they can find in the store.  They help them read reviews before adding items to their carts.

For an e-commerce company to really succeed, they have to understand the psychology behind mobile shopping and adapt their store to match the reality behind how people shop.

Optimize for Online Shopping First

When people get started optimizing their store for mobile sales, their first step is usually to dive into all the mobile design trends.  While not having to pinch and zoom to read the product description and see the images is a good thing – it doesn’t address the key issue.  The user’s experience while browsing and ultimately purchasing products in the store has to come first.

Mobile shoppers are looking to make quick decisions and want to feel confident and secure in their purchases.  eStores should include information that shoppers will want to see.

This would include things like:

  • Photos of the product that include a size reference indicator so people know how large or small the item is.  Be sure to take photos from different angles so they can visualize it easily.
  • good description that explains the item and includes anything helpful like weight limits, materials, and other things that would help someone decide if it will work for their needs.
  • What’s included with the item – like batteries, accessories, or other additional add-ons?
  • Shipping cost or a notice that shipping is free if you offer free shipping.
  • The price of the item as well as any sale price.
  • Frequently asked questions about that product.
  • Live chat or another way for someone to ask a question about the product.

Improving the shopping experience will help make people feel more confident in their purchases and will work to increase sales.

Improve Load Time

Now that you’ve addressed the glaring key issues related to overall shopping experience it’s time to focus on some of the behind-the-scenes components of your site that can make a huge impact on sales.

Customers on mobile expect your site to load quickly, if it doesn’t, then sales drop.  Skilled fund very real relationships between page load time and e-commerce profit margins.

  1. 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds
  2. 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less (on a desktop)
  3. If your site makes $100k per day, 1-second improvement in page speed brings $7k daily
  4. A 1-second delay in page load time means 11% loss of page views
  5. A 1-second delay means a 7% reduction in conversions

Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool is a great place to start getting the details for how to reduce load times on a site.

Navigation Should Be Intuitive

While this sounds like a basic thing to do, it can be tricky.  It’s pretty common to fold up the main navigation menu into an icon that will pop out the full menu when clicked, but true mobile-friendly navigation is more complex than that.

Navigation more than menus.  It’s essentially every clickable element in your site that takes a user from one page to another one.  This might include things like buttons, images, links, headings, descriptions, and more.  Some key things to pay attention to are:

  • Make sure the buttons and links are big enough to be easily tapped by a shoppers fingers without accidentally clicking other things.
  • Make the buttons descriptive – they should easily communicate at all times what they do and where they go to when clicked.
  • Use icons on the buttons for visual cues – like putting a lock icon beside the text on the “Proceed to Checkout” button.
  • Use visual cues to indicate that an action is taking place.  For example, change the button from “Add to Cart” to “Adding Now” and then to “Added to Cart”  This prevents double-taps that would cause them to purchase additional quantities.

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