Build a Mobile Friendly eCommerce Website: Tips, Tools and Technologies

 5 Mar, 2021

Introduction

Good vs Bad

Can you tell us as a buyer why the image on the left is deemed good while the image on the right is bad?

No? Well, let us clear the picture. On your left is the mobile version of an eCommerce with appropriate use of white space, neatly placed checkout feature and an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly description of the product. Things that are missing on the product on your right and will probably leave your customer in a sour mood.

This is from a user’s perspective now shift focus to the point of view of an ecommerce website. Do you know it only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to make a judgement about your site, determining if they’re going to stay on-site or leave. So imagine having an ecommerce website with poor designs, slow loading rate and bad user experience? Chances are 57% of your users wouldn’t recommend a business that they leave with a bad user experience.

So are you one of the ecommerce businesses struggling to turn underperforming websites into websites that actually boost credibility and revenue? Or an emerging ecommerce website that needs to know how to build a mobile responsive ecommerce website?

This blog will help you with:

  • Brief statistics about mobile-friendly websites
  • Why do you need a mobile-friendly website?
  • Some features of a mobile friendly ecommerce website
  • How to make a mobile friendly ecommerce website for an existing site or a new one?
  • Checklist to ensure you’ve a user-friendly and conversion-driven ecommerce website

A Quick Look Over Mobile-Friendly Design & Why eCommerce Must Have It

Mobile-friendly content as the name just refers to the content that appears on your other devices like laptop or PC is similar to the content that you see on your mobile devices big or small. Meaning, text is easy to read, links are clickable, intuitive navigations, overall the content is easy and quick to consume.

When was the last time you bought something from the Internet? Was it last week? Last month? When was the last time you bought something from the Internet? Was it last week? Last month? Well, statistically, there are 2.14 billion digital buyers in the world as of 2021, up from up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016. And how many of you did it through your phone? You might be wondering if both are the same, right? Wrong.

Purchasing online using your electronic devices like laptop or PC is different than buying products or services using the internet via your phone or any other wireless handheld devices like tablets. The latter is called mCommerce, while the other as well all know is known as eCommerce. Do you know The share of mCommerce in all e-commerce is expected to rise to 72.9% by 2021. So it’s pretty obvious that your focus should be on optimizing your eCommerce website for mobile devices.

If you need more reasons, then read on:

  • In 2021, the number of smartphone users in the world today is 3.8 Billion, which translates to 48.41% of the world's population owning a smartphone.
  • mCommerce sales are projected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021—22.3% more than 2020.
  •  79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices.
  • According to a report from Search Engine Land, nearly 60 % of searches turn up on mobile devices.
  • Mobile commerce will control 73% of all eCommerce sales across the globe by 2021. 
  • 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a mobile site after a bad experience.
  • 30% of mobile users wait 6-10 seconds for a site to load on their smartphone or tablet.

Those are big numbers indicating that online purchasing on mobile phones has since become an essential experience of everyone’s everyday life. And that’s a number you’ll be missing out targeting if you don’t offer your visitors a seamless experience via a mobile responsive eCommerce website design.

There are other reasons that you should consider, before having a mobile friendly eCommerce website other than the above reasons. Reasons that directly impact your conversion rates and sales.

What are the Benefits of Mobile-Friendly eCommerce?

Improved SEO rankings

In 2018, Google released a statement  explaining that “the sites that are configured for mobile and had a responsive design were preferred by Google’s recommended design pattern.” Meaning the rankings for SEO would be better, if a site passes their mobile-friendly tests. Not just Google, other search engines rate the websites with a better mobile experience as higher on their rankings when people are searching.

Better conversion rate

Having an optimized mobile site ensures that the users can still purchase from the site even if they are viewing from their handheld device. Though conversion rate for mobile is lower than desktop. But considering mobile commerce will control 73% of all eCommerce sales across the globe by 2021, it’s a wise decision for your business to give your customer the ability to purchase from their smartphone if they wish. While nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, it means you are more likely to get a better conversion rate if you give them exactly that.

Increased customer potential

With 79% of smartphone users having made a purchase online using their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website opens a world for your customer potential. Not only will it help you retain your current customers but also compel your potential visitors to turn you’re your buyers. Thus, more sales as an eCommerce business.

Better customer satisfaction

If customers enjoy shopping and browsing on your website, then they may come back or rate you as a good business to buy from. Statistics from GoDaddy show that one of the best ways to retain customers with mobile is to have a responsive and mobile-friendly website. Nothing works better than a satisfied customer, no marketing or SEO technique can grab you potential customers than them. Thus, satisfied customers=more sales as an eCommerce business.

7 Steps to Build a Mobile-Friendly eCommerce Website & Boost Your Conversion Rates & Sales

It’s not enough to have a great e-commerce site: your site must also be optimized for mobile shopping. A mobile-optimized site can help your SEO rankings and capture more sales from shoppers-on-the-go. Here’s how a good mobile friendly looks like or in other words, this is how you make sure your e-commerce site is ready for mobile shoppers:

7 Steps to Build a Mobile-Friendly eCommerce Website & Boost Your Conversion Rates & Sales

1. Make sure your page loads quickly

The mobile experience is different from a user browsing on a desktop computer or laptop. Data speeds and internet connections tend to be slower, and users can get impatient. An estimated 40% of shoppers abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. You can test your page’s load speed on Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.

2. Ensure Right Structuring of Blocks

A desktop website is different from a mobile version. You shouldn’t try to fit everything in that little space like you can with a PC website. You have to be very particular in what your visitors are looking for in your website, what you want to show to them and what you are really showing them. Arrangement of content is the key to increase results from marketing efforts.

3. Must be integrated with social media

Social selling is a new trend in the online market via social media platforms considering there are 4.20 billion social media users around the world at the start of 2021. Simply integrate your e-commerce site with channels like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to capture more sales from mobile app users. Allowing users to complete their purchase immediately if they like your product, rather than having them visit a separate web page to check out.

4. Optimize your user experience

The user experience on a mobile-optimized e-commerce site should not be the same as the experience with your desktop website. Your mobile page must be lighter, faster and more intuitive. You can use a top navigation menu to improve your UX,  offer intuitive menu options and visibly appealing, easy to access products catalog and smooth checkout process.

5. Streamline the checkout process

Brands lose 23% of customers when they ask them to proceed through additional steps during the checkout process. Accept guest checkout and avoid asking customers for additional personal information as it leads to friction in the process and can discourage them from completing their purchase. Make sure customers have a streamlined and smooth checkout to complete the transaction.

6. Make it easy to get back to the home page

Lots of users enter websites through an interior page and bypass the homepage entirely. Easy access to the homepage is must since it provides a new starting point for those who are on the wrong page or want to explore other parts of the site. So make sure, users can go back to the homepage without having to go through other unwanted pages, because they become frustrated when they can’t access it quickly and might leave your site without completing the purchase.

7. Deliver an omnichannel shopping experience

Sometimes users want to continue browsing on another device or find a discount code and place items in their shopping cart while using their PC at work but wish to complete the checkout process on their smartphone or tablet when they get home. Support these customer journeys by enabling users to share items on social networks, or by letting users email themselves links from directly within the site.

Add clear calls to action

On a mobile device, your e-commerce site is competing with many distractions: other apps, texts, games and phone calls can all divert a user’s attention from completing a purchase. So, keep calls to action (CTAs) short and sweet without it hindering your user’s buying experience.

Tips, Tools & Technologies on How to Build a Mobile-Friendly eCommerce Website

Most e-commerce platforms use responsive design to ensure that a website or shopping cart displays effectively across a range of devices and screen sizes. Here’s a checklist of  8 things you should consider to prepare your business's website for mobile e-commerce:

1. Choose how you will design your mobile website

When creating mobile websites, companies can choose between two major approaches with different benefits, challenges, and costs. These are:

  • Responsive web design

Using adaptable layouts in your web designs, you can have a website that appears almost the same across devices and screens such as desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. As your content and your design adapts itself to a user’s device automatically.

  • Adaptive web design

Using unique layouts for devices, your website displays different designs or versions for different devices. Meaning, you deliver different experiences to users, based on whether they’re consuming your content on desktop, mobile or tablet. Though, you may even have to maintain three separate websites to accomplish this task.

  •    Progressive Web App (PWA)

PWA is basically a website that looks and feels like a mobile app. Meaning, PWAs run in the browser itself, so there's no need to download the app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Example: Flipkart, Amazon or Alibaba. PWAs reduce the risk of slow networks, data limitation or complete lack of connectivity to provide a reliable, fast, and engaging user experience.

2. Use the right tools & Platforms

Look for a hosted e-commerce platform with responsive design. If you're already using a popular blog platform such as WordPress, choose a theme and shopping cart that employ responsive design. This will make securely processing credit card payments on your WordPress site as easy as cutting and pasting a snippet of code for the hosted shopping cart. 

Are you looking for the best e-commerce platforms for your website? Pick the one that suits your business goals.

3. Think mobile first

Double-check that your website design and navigation work well on smartphones. For example, try keeping input forms to a minimum in your website's design. And especially make sure that the checkout process for your customers is simple, easy to understand, simple to use, and quick to complete on a smartphone.

4. Get the basics of e-commerce right

Whether you run your website on desktop or mobile phones, don’t forget the basics of what makes an e-commerce site a great experience for the user: good-quality images and descriptions of the products that you're selling are essential. Clearly communicate your shipping costs, delivery times and any warranties. 

5. Speed matters, especially on mobile

Businesses often lose sales if their e-commerce site (either mobile or nonmobile version) doesn't load fast enough, or if the checkout process takes too long. Look for a web host or e-commerce provider that advertises its service as optimized for speed. You may have to pay more for this, but it can be worth it; your website may get even more traffic after you make it mobile-friendly.

6. Social media and your e-commerce site

Social media apps continue to be the most popular way that people spend time on their smartphones. Leverage these social networks (particularly Facebook and Instagram) as additional channels to drive traffic to your e-commerce site. Assume that most of the traffic that your website will get through social media networks will be from people on their smartphones. Your e-commerce site must respond accordingly and be mobile-friendly.

7. Mobile-friendly Website Testing Tools

There are different ecommerce testing tools available for you to test the responsive design of your website. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool is one of the most popular tools to test the performance of your eCommerce on mobile. There you can check out other tools like Rankwatch, Browser Stack, among others.

8. Optimize Structure Data

Google emphasizes how you can make search engines understand your content by stating “If you use structured data on the desktop versions of your pages, you should have the same structured data on the mobile versions of the pages. This is important because with mobile-first indexing, we'll only use the mobile version of your page for indexing, and will otherwise miss the structured data.”

How to Check If Your eCommerce Website is Mobile-friendly or Not?

Remember these key best practices for mobile sites:

  • Finger compatibility: Can someone tap all the links on your site?
  • Vertical scrolling: Can someone use their thumb to read all of a page?
  • Top-loaded pages: Is your most important information at the top of each page?
  • Extra graphics: Can you remove any unnecessary content, images or videos?
  • Large form fields: Can someone tap a form field with their thumb?
  • Minimal form requirements: Do you need all of the info you require in form fields?
  • Modern code: Are you using the latest code like HTML5 code?
  • Navigation Design: Is it easy to access, open and close the menu option?
  • Product Pages & Categories: Do they’ve a uniform look?
  • Security: Is your website providing safe and secured payment process & data privacy?
  • Shopping Cart: Is it showing dynamic indications like price, size, photos?

Conclusion

In this blog we gave you an insight into how to tap into the minds of your current as well as potential users who use mobile to shop and let them have a greater user experience. There are a lot other ways to not only reduce bounce rate on your website but also boost your sales. But always remember that we’re not dealing with algorithms here that one set of rules will work on them. All you need to focus on is that we’re dealing with real people using mobile devices in their everyday life. So when you give them exactly what they are looking for, want, and expect in a very simplified and visually appealing manner this is the way to succeed.

However, if you’ve more questions regarding the intricacies behind building a mobile-friendly ecommerce website? Or want to know strategies for optimizing your existing ecommerce website design for mobile devices, we’re here to help.

Drop us your query or question regarding ecommerce website design and development process for mobile users. Or if you want to share your own experience behind developing a mobile-friendly ecommerce website from the scratch. Whatever it is, we’d love to hear!

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