According to the Experian Simmons 2011 Mobile Consumer Report, more than 33.3 million U.S. consumers already engage in shopping-related activities on their mobile phones, while 2.3 million of those consumers have made a purchase on their devices.
Many online retailers neglect the mobile site, yet with the vast amount of images and products on a website, shopping is cumbersome and unsatisfactory for many mobile phone consumers. It’s important for ecommerce retailers to create mobile sites that increase usability and enhance the shopping experience.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your mobile site for users:
1. All for Less
A mobile site must “shrink” in size to fit comfortably on a 4 inch screen; therefore, the amount of visible content will decrease. Focus on the unique attributes of your site and the main content themes. If you had to re-design your site from the ground up, what would be the most important elements? Add these first.
2. Clutter Free
Treat your mobile site as an extension of your main website, not an exact duplicate. When it comes to mobile websites, simplicity is key. Remove clutter and excess images and center on only the elements that are necessary. An online retailer may find success removing long product descriptions or accessory images that are not conducive to a small screen size. To maximize usability, feature your top products and relevant content.
3. Short Checkout
Consumers who shop on mobile sites are already exercising some patience by shopping on a small screen. Do not give them any other reason to abandon the transaction. Include only the required steps for purchasing.
4. Load Time
Pay as much attention to load time as you do with your main website. Though consumers are somewhat more patient with mobile sites, abandoned sites are still a widespread problem. Remove any Flash from your mobile site and use images instead so load time is enhanced. Consumers with iPhones and iPads will not see the Flash anyway. Don’t convert text into images since graphics, though “better looking” than text links, slow down load time as well. Keep your pages lightweight. Users will prefer speed over slow loading graphics when accessing your site on a handheld device.
Optimize user experience further by testing your mobile site in various browsers. Additionally, pay attention to the capabilities of phones. The user experience on a smartphone is completely different than that on a feature phone.
The portability and functionality of mobile phones is advancing the spread of mobile ecommerce like wildfire. Have you optimized your mobile website?