Thursday May 28, 2015
Your customers are doing more of their shopping from mobile devices every year. Having a site that accommodates them isn’t “cutting edge” anymore—it’s standard.
You may only get one chance to wow a new visitor to your site, from whatever device they happen to be using. If a lot of your new leads come from word of mouth or social media, there’s a good chance that device will be a smartphone. Sites for small ecommerce businesses should be able to convert on the first visit, no matter what size screen it’s viewed from.
As someone who has designed responsive sites for small ecommerce businesses all over the country, here are my best tips for creating a time-proof, attractive design that converts mobile users.
1. Choose a Responsive Design
A responsive design provides the most seamless customer experience for ecommerce. Responsive design means that the code of your website recognizes the visitor’s screen size and adjusts itself to fit.
- Future-proof to changing screen sizes
- Only one URL to remember
- Google’s preferred method
As I said, this is the new standard. It’s worth investing to stay current, for your customers’ sake. The rest of the tips are for making your responsive design a conversion machine.
2. Prioritize Loading Speed
Make sure your developer knows loading speed is a high priority. Even fractions of a second make a difference to conversion rates.
Ecommerce sites in particular have a lot of images, which need to load quickly while still providing an attractive view of your products. Your checkout process also needs to be free of long waits.
3. Focus on Quality Content Over Quantity
You run out of room fast designing for a mobile screen.
Since your number one goal is driving a purchase, only include content and features that gather leads and drive immediate conversion.
- Highly visible shopping cart and checkout
- Small amounts of conversion-driven text
- Lead boxes to gather email addresses
Make sure your site still has lots of quality content, but bury it deeper for mobile users, so it doesn’t get in the way of them making a purchase.
4. Make Your Links Finger-Friendly
A computer mouse is a precision instrument compared with a human finger. If you want your visitors to be able to smoothly move through your sales funnel, from page to page, you need links that are optimized for fingers.
- Space links out from each other to prevent misclicks
- Make links large enough for fingers to click easily . . .
- But not too easily, so you click when you’re trying to scroll
5. Design Easy Navigation
Here are some tips for keeping people moving through your site, without using valuable page real estate on links and navigation:
- Collapsed navigation menu of deeper content
- Make your search box prominent
- Reduce clicks needed for visitors to make a purchase
The only links you should never collapse into a menu bar are critical links that drive visitors through your sales funnel, such as links to your product pages and your shopping cart.
6. Display Your Call to Action
Every page on your site should tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. Always prioritize your call-to-action when you’re laying out a page.
- “Add to Cart” should be visible on each product page
- “Checkout” needs to be a large, colorful button or icon
- Follow best practices: tell them what you want them to do, when, and how
7. Reduce Barriers to Checkout
Abandoned carts are really frustrating. So often, they happen simply because the checkout process was too laborious, was taking too long, or felt insecure.
Here are some tips to streamline the process:
- One scrolling checkout page
- Reduce the number of pages
- Decrease number of fields
- Offer options to auto populate fields
- Accept multiple payment options, especially PayPal
Don’t forget—if someone does abandon an ecommerce cart, it’s crucial to follow up! You won’t believe how many of these highly-qualified leads you can convert with a discount or even just a reminder.
8. Include a Store Locator
Some people just don’t like to buy online, and from mobile in particular. If that’s the case, give them a clear option to find your product in a store. This works well whether you have your own brick and mortar store, or whether you sell your product to resellers.
If you sell to resellers, it’s a good idea to let interested prospects request that their favorite local stores carry your product. It’s a great way to get a foot in the door to form a new partnership.
9. Offer Social Media Integration
Mobile visitors are great candidates to share your business on social media, if you make it easy for them. Give your visitors easy tools to share products, content, and discounts from your site. You can even write pre-populated posts for them, so they just have to click to share. Who doesn’t want free advertising?
10. Track and Attribute Success
Think of your website as an experiment in converting new visitors. If it’s not doing that job well, test out some new elements. Change the wording on your call to action. Put a new picture in high prominence. Reconsider your navigation. Or try any one of the tips I just shared with you.
But when you make those changes to your website, make sure you have back-end analytics that tell you what the difference was. Seeing the difference a good design can make keeps your site from stagnating, and gives you more opportunities to improve in the future.