How to Improve your Ecommerce Website for Mobile Devices

Mobile ecommerce has skyrocketed over the past decade or so. Sales conversion rates are considerably higher on mobile websites than their PC counterpart and, according to KISSmetrics, 78% of mobile searches for local businesses result in a purchase (only 61% of PC local searches convert).

However, these figures could be even higher. So many users are frustrated with mobile sites as they are more difficult to use and less “friendly” than their desktop versions.

Over the course of this blog I am going to outline a few mistakes ecommerce mobile websites often make and how to remedy them, overall leading to a boost in sales.

1. Make Customers Skip the Cart and Develop a User-Friendly Checkout

If you want to convert sales and retain customers  then you need to make sure the checkout process is as easy as pie (by the way, I’ve always wondered… why are “pies” easy?).

Mobile phone users are more demanding and you can’t mess with them, mostly on the payment page. Name, email, credit card fields should be full width and big enough so that entering text is easy and fast.

Only necessary labels and inputs should be displayed – forget about images, logos, blogs… remove everything but the important checkout functionality.

And even before reaching the checkout page, adding items to cart should also be a seamless process. Save mobile users a click and redirect them straight to checkout – they will appreciate this optimization.

I would therefore skip the cart page completely, so that as soon as the customer selects the quantity, size and other relevant information on the product page she will be sent directly to the payment page.

2. Show The “Add to Cart” Button Multiple Times

This is something we rarely think of.

Mobile phone users scroll and swipe, depending on the device – there is no doubt about that (note: for the exact same reason, PC users scroll too as they’re used to do that on their smartphones. The “above the fold” story or the “people don’t scroll” story are gone by now. Check this blog out).

However, it’s more likely that users scroll down as opposed to going back up (or swiping back up).

Here’s the reason I strongly suggest that you place – on the single product pages – a double “Add to Cart” button (not to mention that it also has to be large and visible), one on top and one on the bottom of the page.

The more chances to add to cart, the better – mostly on a small device and on long product pages with descriptions, reviews, images and other information.

3. Ensure Buttons and Links are Large Enough i.e. “Thumb-friendly”

On small screens, website buttons and links get even smaller (usually).

The mobile design rule is that buttons and links should be at least as big as human thumb. Makes sense, right?

And when talking about buttons and links in ecommerce, then the “add to cart”, “view cart”, “checkout” and “pay now” should be the biggest buttons on the mobile version of a website.

4. Simplify the design

Although desktop versions of various sites can be filled with information, in the case of mobile devices the screen space is limited and as such you should remove the unnecessary stuff (and therefore making space for the things that do matter).

Do mobile users really need to see your footer and sidebar?

Do mobile users need to see all those images (which, also, would slow down page loading)?

Do mobile users need to read all that text?

Probably not – just make it easier for them to navigate and read only what’s necessary.

Take Action Now and Improve your Website UX

(Oh, by the way, UX stands for “User Experience”)

I’ve given you my top 4 suggestions to optimize your ecommerce website for mobile devices.

Now it’s your duty to take action (or to contact your web developer). If you just happen to take a look at your Google Analytics statistics, you will understand why Mobile is the way to go and your website has to cater for this need.

Only with the help of a stellar user experience you can have a successful website, so keep these tips in mind and act fast!

And as usual, if you have any problems or want to share a success story, please leave a comment below.

Credits: tfinc © Creative Commons

About The Author

Rodolfo Melogli

Author, WooCommerce expert, WordCamp speaker and Internet marketer, Rodolfo Melogli helps entrepreneurs overcome their ecommerce nightmares :) Rodolfo is the organiser of the Dublin Ecommerce Meetup, WordCamp Dublin, the Dublin WordPress Meetup and the Dublin WooCommerce Meetup. He enjoys interacting with people, running on the beach and chasing tennis & soccer balls. Of course, he loves pizza too.

7 Comments

  • Nirav Sheth

    Reply Reply April 23, 2015

    Mobile eCommerce is indeed a phenomenal business term now that would ever need one to well understand and follow it! Logical (rather more user-friendly) approaches must never by dominated by much of the technical attention – Salability should be a concern rather!!!

  • Pieter

    Reply Reply May 11, 2015

    Is there any webpage/software you can use to preview the mobile version of your webshop?

    Thanks again!

  • Claudiu

    Reply Reply June 17, 2016

    I have an website built on wix templates. I can say that loading the mobile version it takes a lot of time but I do not know how to improve it! Do you have any thoughts about that?

    • Rodolfo Melogli

      June 17, 2016

      Hello Claudiu, thanks very much for your comment! I’m afraid I don’t use Wix, and the reason is it is hard/difficult and sometimes impossible to customize. Have you tried asking Wix support?

  • Paul Crawford

    Reply Reply May 15, 2017

    Hi Rodolfo
    In tip 1 you suggest…
    “I would therefore skip the cart page completely, so that as soon as the customer selects the quantity, size and other relevant information on the product page she will be sent directly to the payment page.”
    How do you set that up? Is it an option within Woo?
    Thanks

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