Tips for Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Shoppers
When retailers first began to see a dramatic increase in traffic coming to their websites from mobile devices, few people could blame them for going with a quick and easy approach to just getting a mobile-optimized site live. Even with a mobile-optimized site, however, many retailers didn't see the conversion numbers they anticipated and just assumed that mobile "isn't working" and that consumers simply don't shop on mobile devices.
While it's true that it's likely to be quite some time before retailers see the same type of conversion rates on smartphones as they do on their desktop sites, there's a huge discrepancy between what some retailers are seeing for a conversion rate on their mobile websites. It can range from 0.2 percent to 4 percent for commoditized goods.
I'd argue to any retailer that claims that "mobile commerce isn't working" that they just haven't built a mobile website correctly. There are a few important considerations that retailers must take into account when building a mobile website that's primed for conversion.
In our multidevice world, the use case of how people interact with each device becomes important. When consumers are using mobile websites, they're more likely to be on the go and out and about with spotty reception. Therefore, site speed is paramount. If the site takes too long to load, they'll simply give up. Obviously there's a trade-off between having a graphically appealing mobile website and one that performs fast. Test and retest your site speed on the major mobile devices — iPhone, Android, BlackBerry — to see how well it performs. Caching also plays a key role here.
While most retailers think it's safe to reuse their desktop navigation, mobile actually requires a much more shallow navigation. Realistically, most mobile shoppers want to get from the homepage to product page in as few steps as possible. Including a drop-down menu and shallow navigation reduces the number of pages your visitor will have to go through.