Best Practices for Mobile Optimization

The mind of the mobile consumer is a curious thing.  Luckily, Adobe has discovered how the mobile user’s mind works by conducting a survey of over 3,000 mobile users in North America and Europe.  The results provide valuable insight into the mobile user experience.  Your business can leverage their findings to develop mcommerce business practices that will resonate with your customers.

Shopping for products on mobile devices is at an all-time high, and the numbers are projected to rise.  According to Adobe’s research, 6 out of 7 mobile shoppers will use their smartphones to shop in 2013.  This will account for approximately $38.4 billion in sales or roughly 15% of all ecommerce sales (eMarketer).  The need to optimize your mobile site is ever present and could mean all the difference in your sales.

Use these best practices to give mobile users a shopping experience they won’t forget:

1. Reduce the Number of Touch Events to Conversion

As with any online store, the quicker you can convert the online consumer to a paying customer, the better. Optimizing your mobile site for ease of use is the first step you should take in streamlining your store for optimal conversion rates.  You can do this by cleaning up your website to simplify it as best as possible.  Make sure that each of the following elements are working properly and are easy to use on a mobile device:

  • Home Page
  • Site Navigation
  • Search
  • Search Filters
  • Product Pages
  • Add to Cart Buttons
  • View Shopping Cart
  • Check Out Process

The easier each touch point is to use, the more sales you will receive.

2. Optimize for Speed and Mobile Interactions

Mobile performance is incredibly important; it should be fast and robust.  Urs Hoelze, VP of Technical Infrastructure for Google stated, “when you speed up service, people become more engaged — and when people become more engaged, they click and buy more.”  Mobile users have less tolerance for slow loading websites. Forrester reported that nearly twice as many mobile users would leave a slow website than those on a desktop computer.

According to the Aberdeen Group, “a 1-second delay in mobile page load time equals a 7% loss in conversion.”  Keep in mind that rich content is still valuable on a mobile device, so be sure that you don’t compromise your content.

Speed up your mobile website by implementing these mcommerce best practices:

  • Use CSS to create page elements like buttons
  • Compile multiple scripts that are used together & minify them
  • Minimize the number of redirects your site has
  • Fit images to the exact width rather than resizing them
  • Get rid of needless hidden elements

When optimizing for speed, take note that the mobile experience requires large, simple buttons and touch points.  “Take advantage of mobile display controls, such as finger swipe, touch, drag, pinch, and zoom” (Adobe 2013).

3. Make Content “Find-ability” Easier

Adobe found that mobile users have high intent of purchasing something when they navigate to your website, making search optimization crucial for your mobile site.  Implement analytics from day one to watch how your customers use the search function.  When you look at the search phrases they used and the mistakes that they made, due to the difficulty of mobile typing, you can optimize the search function easier.  Another great way to make your products easier to find is to implement autosuggest for their search.  Keep the search box highly visible to make the user experience easier.  If your mobile consumers are there with intent, then they’ll want to find what they’re searching for as fast as possible.

While optimizing your ecommerce site for mobile use may seem like a great challenge, it presents with it even greater opportunity for sales.  It is a highly effective way to collect new sales and valuable customers that your competitors might not have access to.  Aim to create a mobile experience that is easy to use and gives them exactly what they want when they want it.  By using these three mcommerce best practices, you can increase your sales dramatically and keep your mobile customers coming back for more, time and time again.

To view Adobe’s 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey go here.