Creating a Mobile-Friendly Shopping Experience

Posted by Eman Abulmagd on

On a global scale, the number of people who own a mobile phone is more than the number of people who own a toothbrush. This is an interesting fact, but what we found even more interesting is that according to an article on inc.com the average person spends around 4 hours every single day on his or her smartphone. So if your personal usage follows the average statistics, you basically spend around 1.2 sleepless days every single week on your smartphone. Social scientists see it as a problem as more screen time means less time with real people. Content creators see it as a bigger window to deliver their message across and impact more people. But in eCommerce we see opportunity!

It turns out that a large portion of smartphone usage is related to time spent online. According to Statista.com, more than 52% of all online traffic worldwide came from mobile devices in 2018, compared with only 6.1% in 2011. Whether it's surfing websites, consuming online content, reading and responding emails all the way to online shopping.

What does that mean for eCommerce?

The previous data show that online mobile usage can no longer be considered a passing "trend". It's now one of the basic online behavior pillars that we can't ignore. Especially when it comes to eCommerce. With over 40% of the online transactions done through mobile, having your online store optimized for mobile users is essential. Current statistics revealed that when it comes to eCommerce, mobile optimization isn't just a recommendation. It directly affects your stores' sales.

According to BrightEdge, 69% of smartphone users said they're more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions and concerns. And it doesn't stop here. According to Google, nearly two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose mobile sites customize information based on the customer's location.

On the other hand, 46% of people said they wouldn't buy again from a brand if they had an interruptive mobile experience on its website. And 57% of users mentioned that they won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.

And it's increasing! According to an article on Shopify blog

"Over Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017, Shopify saw mobile account for 64% of all sales, an increase of 10% year-over-year. "
a graph showing mobile sales outperforming desktop saales in BFCM 2017 on Shopify
Source: Shopify.com

What can you do about it?

When we talk about a mobile-friendly shopping experience, there are a host of factors to consider when optimizing your shopping experience for mobile users.

The first non-negotiable step is creating a mobile-friendly website. Meaning that whenever someone visits your website through their mobile phone, your website gets displayed in a way that's compatible to mobile users. Like displaying banners that are adjusted for mobile display, making sure that the products' pictures are suitable for the average mobile screen, adapting the zooming features.....etc. And that the mobile version of your website is functioning smoothly without any glitches or delays. Although this is the cornerstone of a mobile-friendly website, there are a few other elements that can pass by unnoticed. Here are some of them and what you can do about it.

Visual Content: It's not just about the banner size or video layout. What can often skip your radar is that the content itself needs to deliver the message you want when viewed on mobile too. Like using larger fonts, writing fewer words,.....etc. Which means putting the whole mobile shopping experience in mind when creating your content.

Support Desk: Make sure that the mobile version of your website has an effective interface for the support desk. It can be like a neat mobile-friendly form that your customers use to submit support tickets, or a mobile-compatible live chat window if you have live support on your website.

The Checkout Process: This one is crucial when optimizing your website for mobile users. Try to shorten the mobile checkout process and to make it as intuitive as possible. Also, make sure that there are no glitches or delays when your customers check out through their mobile phones.

Returns/refunds and Tracking: in most return/refund cases the customers are angry to some extent. Being unable to initiate the return easily might make the situation even worse. so make sure the return tab/button is visible and that the return/refund can be directly initiated through the mobile version of your website. The same is for placing a tab/button for shipment tracking.

Go through the mobile version of your website as if you're browsing any other website and see what comments, ideas or enhancements you think should be changed or fixed. And if you don't have a mobile version for your website, it might be a good idea to start considering making one.

Do you think mobile usage will keep increasing? how do you think this can change the eCommerce landscape in the next 10 years? We would love to hear your opinion. Share it with us on Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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