Ecommerce: 9 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Optimised Website

Posted by Edward Gotham 5 Jul 13

This is part of a series of blog posts focused on mobile ecommerce:

shutterstock_169338014I can'’t count the number of times I’'ve heard people talk about mobile being the future or how mobile is the "biggest opportunity in ecommerce for a decade". What's surprising is the failure of so many companies to act on these predictions and create mobile optimised websites. Money - big money - is being left on the table.

The truth is that the era of mobile domination is not just "around the corner" - it’s here, right now, ecommerce is mobile. Those who do not have a mobile ecommerce website, in addition to losing revenues, are also providing both a bad user experience, and are weakening their SEO efforts.

So...here's my list of top nine reasons to go mobile!

1) Mobile Growth 

The growth of mobile search traffic has been unprecedented and it is still increasing, with no signs of a slowdown. Here’ are a few stats:

  • US mobile local search queries are on track to surpass desktop local search in 2015. (BIA/Kelsey)

  • 15% of all retail purchases are made using mobile devices. ( Adyen Global)

The only possible way to take full advantage of this opportunity is to optimise effectively for mobile.

2) SEO

Google is beginning to penalise companies that don'’t optimise for mobile effectively by reducing their search rankings. It makes sense - if the mobile experience is poor, then the site deserves to drop down the rankings. For more details view Google's official help page here.

3) Satisfy user expectations

The main driver behind the rise of mobile shopping has been the customer - not online stores. Quite the contrary - they are the ones playing catch-up. It has now got to the point where customers expect content to be mobile-ready, and it reflects badly on brands if they haven'’t already made this step. It can be enough of a motive to push customers elsewhere.

4) Enhanced usability

We'’ve all been in the situation where, on a mobile phone, we can't figure out which buttons to press to navigate to where we want to go, and we find ourselves madly scrolling up and down to find that elusive piece of information. It's very frustrating. A potential customer is highly unlikely to stick around.

Conversely, it's a nice feeling (the more so when we are so frequently frustrated) when we come across a well-optimised mobile site - simplified menus, vertical-only scrolling, full size product images and a one click payment solution. Check out Shopbob for a really good example.

5) Increased accessibility

Also, you most likely want to let people access your store from wherever they are in the world. So let people engage with your brand in a user friendly way whenever and wherever they are - whatever speed their internet connection might be or how large their screen.

6) Deliver contextually relevant content

When you create a site for mobile you have the ability to include or exclude certain functionality or content in different scenarios across different devices. On a tablet, people are more likely to be shopping to buy than on a smartphone, where visitors are more likely to be researching or comparison shopping. Alternatively they might be searching for a local store. So bear that in mind when you decide how to structure and optimise for each device.

7) Mobile specific functionality

Developing for mobile specifically allows you to make use of some really cool functionality designed to enhance the user experience. For example:

  • Click to call

  • Integrated maps

  • Localised information

8) Competitive edge

Take a moment to search all your competitors' websites on a mobile phone. If they aren’t optimised, then going mobile puts you ahead of the game. If they are, then you will be losing market share. The message is clear, and even if they are already mobile ready it is highly likely you will be able to improve on what they are doing, considering best practise is developing all the time.

  • A Forrester study on developing mobile apps, creating products for new devices, and unifying the customer experience cross-channel, showed that fewer than 25 percent of companies succeed at digital experience delivery.

9) Quicker page load speed

Web visitors are increasingly sensitive to page load times. If you don’'t load quickly they will navigate somewhere else, and this is as important with your mobile traffic as it is with your web traffic. Mobile connectivity speeds are generally slower than fixed line, so in order to maintain good load time you need to consider:

  • Using less images.

  • Compressing files.

  • Utilising your cache more effectively.

  • Removing any complex functionality.

  • Keeping page length to the minimum.

So, my message - if you’re thinking about going mobile, don't delay! This particular wave is not about to stop, and you must ride it not just to stay ahead of the competition, but simply to stay in the game.

 

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