Last year Britons spent £38.8 billion online and £4.9 billion of this amount was attributed to goods or services bought through mobile devices. Thus m-commerce accounts for 13% of the UK’s online spend, making the UK the most mature m-commerce market in Europe. Pairing this information with the fact that there are more mobile phones in the world than people, it is clear that m-commerce is too big a trend to ignore.
Simply having a mobile presence is not enough, it has to be optimised. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from this profitable channel.
1. Create a responsive design
A responsive design takes into account the device the site is being viewed on and displays the interface accordingly. Google recommends responsive design as the best way of going mobile and getting the best SEO results.
Rather than designing fixed layouts, responsive design means you can customise the viewing experience depending on the device being use and thus display the information in the optimum way. Furthermore, responsive design lets you use the same domain name, and so by using one URL you eliminate costs for redirecting visitors between mobile and desktop.
2. Speed is critical
However, when using a responsive design there is a risk of increasing the page load time. Keep loading time speedy by resizing images for different screen resolutions, this is the quickest way to improve the speed of your site. New image format WebP allows you to compress images by a further 25-30% compared to tradition formats such as JPEG and PNG, however, it is not supported by all browsers.
By reducing scripts and moving them to the end of your HTML templates you can make the site faster and display primary content as other parts of the page load. You may want to look at using a quick and reliable CDN (content delivery system). Although cloud services are becoming more and more affordable, they do not replace the need for a CDN partner.
3. Optimise payment procedure
Nothing is more annoying for mobile customers than having to fill out forms that are not optimised for the device they are using. Filling out long forms on a mobile device can be both tricky and time consuming. Therefore, only ask for information that is essential to your purpose. You can also improve form filling by placing labels above form fields, avoiding inline labels, disabling first letter capitalisation for password and email fields, and showing appropriate keyboard layouts (for example a numeric keyboard for credit and phone number and a letter keyboard for email addresses).
4. Optimise user experience
Is the navigation easy on mobile? Are buttons big and clear enough for the mobile resolution? Are key actions within reach of the thumb (the most used digit on mobile)? Would your site benefit from using haptics (auditory or sensory feedback) to help your customer along their journey? If the customer makes a mistake, is it easy for them to go back? These are examples of some of the questions you need to ask in order to give your customers the best possible experience on your mobile site.
And finally… test, test, test! You can use a tool to aggregate your data about your customers’ journey. You can see what paths they take to make a purchase, where they leave, etc; and make changes and improvements to your site accordingly. This all relates back to creating the optimum customer experience, which should lead to the ultimate goal of increasing the conversion rate.
Some of these tips may seem like big and/or expensive moves, however, they will create a better return on investment in the long run. The sooner you create an m-commerce experience, which is in accordance with your customers’ expectations of your brand, the sooner you will stop losing sales on mobile.