Why is mobile optimization one of the most important e-commerce investments?

Mobile devices are quickly becoming the top choice for online shopping, with the importance of this purchasing method weighing heavily on mobile optimization. In an ever-changing economic landscape, one must adjust to current trends, leaving business owners and web development companies to make the transition to a world where websites are starting to cater more so to smartphone purchasing over the once-popular desktop method. This has allowed them to raise customer satisfaction and retention using a convenient, device-friendly shopping experience. Needless to say, if you want your brand to have a shot at competing with big-box e-retailers, consider everything you can learn about mobile optimization from the content below. 

What’s our definition of mobile optimization?

Mobile optimization is a process that ensures visitors accessing your e-commerce site from their mobile devices have the same engaging, user-friendly experiences as those using a desktop computer. A website that’s optimized by a skilled web developer will reformat itself and adjust its layout and content automatically to fit on a variety of smaller screens. In a world where many shoppers are looking for products and services using their smartphones, mobile optimization has become an essential part of every businesses’ web development strategy. 

Digging deeper into the importance of mobile optimization

The technological trends within society are advancing every day, which is making it nearly impossible for business owners to keep up with their competition if their website isn’t mobile-friendly. While Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1981) are the age group driving the most transactions per year, Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are the digital natives of our society, with Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) quickly adapting to this type of shopping experience as well. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on the necessity and convenience of online shopping, the simplicity of making purchases on websites is one of the primary factors bridging the gap between generations and their e-commerce spending habits. Nevertheless, ensuring that each visitor who’s gaining access to your site is given the same experience—visibility of design, innovative structure, speed of a page, and more—will do wonders for your conversion rates! 

What is the difference between a mobile-friendly site and a mobile-optimized site?

Being mobile-friendly will increase your site’s performance by making it easier to access for all. However, many people don’t know that an e-commerce website can be mobile-friendly but not mobile-optimized. This is because the definition of a mobile-friendly site is a website that will load properly on all devices, with the ability to navigate and command your way from page to page. On the other hand, a mobile-optimized site is a responsive design where the development of the website doesn’t change based on the device that’s used. This means that if the website is developed for mobile optimization, it will adjust its size and format automatically to allow some flexibility in which device customers can use, making it a more practical solution long-term for attracting a wider customer base. 

*Note: You must have a web development team ensure that your website is optimized for mobile before it goes live, as this will help to catch any consumers who may turn away based on poor site functionality. 

What are the growing benefits of mobile optimization for e-commerce?

Consumers today possess the power of the internet in their pockets, with the empowered ability to make purchase decisions without having to step foot into a brick-and-mortar store or speak with a sales representative. As an e-commerce business, your job is to make it into the hands of the consumer. But first, you must tap into their minds. 

Here are some of the major advantages of a mobile-optimized website: 

  • Betters search engine optimization: A mobile-optimized website raises your organic ranking because it encourages more users to remain on the page. Even if nothing is purchased, it’s beneficial when users click and remain active rather than backing out frequently. 
  • Builds credibility: Websites that feature mobile optimization allow more customers to be reached at a quicker rate. This increases customer satisfaction and will benefit your businesses’ reputation. 
  • Enforces a responsive design: While a desktop design can be formatted to be mobile-friendly, the key to having a responsive website rests with the ability to adapt content to be user-friendly on all modes of viewing. A responsive design will automatically resize and adjust your content, reducing any need to excessively zoom or scroll. 
  • Helps with site speed: The window you get between someone clicking on your website and the time it takes to load will ultimately be one of the biggest deciding factors as to whether a purchase will be carried out. Ideally, your site should load in 1 to 2 seconds to remain engaging and ensure a good customer experience. Alongside speed optimization, mobile optimization takes steps to reduce your load time by compressing and resizing the web content to decrease the chances of website lags.

Here are some design considerations for those seeking a website optimized for mobile devices:

  • Ensure that your text is legible: You could have 20/20 vision, but if your website’s content is too small, it will likely be super tiny when viewed on a mobile screen. Keep in mind that it’s always best to use simple, non-stylized fonts to ensure the size will convert well across mobile devices. Also, the amount of text on your page is something that can affect its mobile optimization. Big blocks of content are harder to read, especially when there’s no imagery to break it up. So, keep mobile in mind with your design and consider using lots of images and some bullet points in your copy to make your website easier to read across all of its available platforms. 
  • Consider touch navigation for the design: Just because a desktop mouse is tiny doesn’t mean that your customer’s fingers will be. In fact, you should be considering a variety of elements in your website’s design to ensure that all areas are clickable to avoid annoyance from people failing to select the right features in their first go. 

How to optimize your website for mobile users

Since more and more shoppers are switching to mobile devices, it has never been more important to build a mobile-first website that caters to smartphone users. That being said, you don’t need to design a completely new website. Instead, here are some suggestions that you can focus on.

  • Prioritize mobile: Mobile screens possess limited display space, so be sure that your content has a visual pathway that follows a more vertical structure. This is not to say there can’t be some horizontal elements included for your desktop traffic. Just ensure that whatever design is used is visual for all types of users.
  • Select your content first: There are a lot of interesting features that can be done with a mobile design as opposed to a desktop design. That being said, always give way to content first by ensuring that your content is readable and accessible before incorporating crazy and much less forgiving visual distractions. 
  • Simplistic navigation: Aside from having a good-looking, speedy website, it should also feature easy-to-use navigation. And when it comes to viewing websites on a mobile device, a simple scroll-to-top widget might be the perfect featured addition. 

The best way to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices is to have a professional web development company take a look and offer you feedback about its feel and flow. They possess the skills and industry experience needed to update any development features through careful examination and in the meantime, you can regularly check your website with your phone to see how it all works together to increase your traffic and sales.

Did you learn anything you didn’t already know about mobile optimization? Drop a comment below to offer us some feedback.

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    Why is mobile optimization one of the most important e-commerce investments? - Numinix Blog