Everyone wants a better mobile experience, especially your customers. With the phenomenal growth in ecommerce, mobile commerce is growing right along with it. This is amply demonstrated by a figure from the Internet Retailer which says that in June 2013, 55% of all ecommerce was executed from a mobile device. This is a staggering figure and underscores the need for a responsive ecommerce webstore. In order to stay relevant, ecommerce merchants need to build a responsive website that is displayed properly on a mobile device and has all the facilities that their desktop version has. In this context, it is necessary that ecommerce companies need to innovate and customize as per the needs of their customers and this in turn helps web designers and developers to let their clients succeed in the billion dollar plus industry of ecommerce.
- Design for flow:
The flow of the website on the mobile and the content and the design that it displays should be seamless and without any unnecessary breaks. Care has to be taken to ensure that the barriers to a customer for finalizing an order on the mobile site are kept to the minimum or are eliminated altogether. As images play a vital role in the user experience (UX) of any site, especially mobile sites, they should be browsed easily by the viewers. Hence, in this context, galleries and enlarged pictures are something that should be taken care of especially in a mobile site.
- Speed is the key:
In order to ensure that your website pages load at a faster rate, you should try to optimize each and every page of your website as far as possible. This can be done at a price that is by reducing the size of the images that are loading in the website, but in this bargain don’t compromise with the quality of the images. In the same manner you should try to remove the unused Java script and keeping the HTML/CSS as fit as possible. Even though optimization works to a large extent, for larger projects, a fully-fledged mobile site is the answer.
- Summarized content:
We have heard the phrase ‘content is king’ countless times as far as the quality and character of any website is concerned, but in the case of mobile optimized websites, summarized and simplified content is the king, which is direct and fits the mobile screens of the mobile visitors. While the aim should be putting the same content on the desktop and mobile versions of your website, but you should also ensure that on the mobile sites, not to overcrowd the small screen and be more direct while describing your products or features. This may result into breaking of the text into many different pages, where there is no clutter of text or the images.
- Seamless navigation:
Due to the smaller screen spaces available on the mobile devices as compared to the desktop version, care should be taken to ensure that layout of the mobile website and its navigation should be as simple as possible. Unnecessary graphical elements, menu buttons and images that may obstruct optimal viewing on mobile devices should be eliminated. Also, it should be ensured that the text should be of optimal size so that it is displayed properly to keep the navigation easy in which text is designed for completely separately using mobile navigation design optimized for touch screens and non-mouse devices.
- A simplified checkout process:
A simplified checkout process is an important process in the mobile optimized design of your site, and you should always remember that more or less, your customers are always wanting to have an expedited shopping experience while shopping on mobile. Hence, all the unnecessary barriers should be removed as far as the checkout process is concerned. In this context, you should have a guest checkout where the customer doesn’t have to sign up or sign in for an account. Also, during the process of checkout, a customer should be kept in the loop regarding how many steps are remaining for them to complete the checkout process. In addition to all this, with the coming of so many payment services other than credit cards, customers should be given such options as Google wallet, PayPal and Amazon alternative payment solutions.
- Enriched Images:
As per the opinion of a majority of the customers using mobile for ecommerce shopping, images play a vital role in selecting a product and making a purchase decision. Therefore, it is imperative that how viewers view your mobile website is one of the most important element for any ecommerce site. The visual element plays a huge role in convincing the customer to buy a particular product and hence the images that are displayed in the mobile site should be of proper size and of good quality. Also, enabling the customer to have a 360 degree view of the product goes in a long way in making a favorable buying decision from the visitors to your mobile website.
- Knowing your audience:
This question is quite pertinent to ask while designing any responsive website, any app or any mobile site for the customers. Since the answer to this question is split up into various categories, the design of the website that you are targeting for the customers should also be split up keeping in view the category of the customers that are being targeted. For your regular customers, those who are loyal to your website, they are more likely to download an app for your website, and hence, the app should be designed accordingly. On the other hand, for the infrequent visitors, who are unlikely to download an app, a website that caters to the needs of the infrequent visitors, getting detailed info for the website should be given.
- Native app versus responsive website:
Again, the choice between the two depends on the kind of customers you are targeting and what your objectives are. In most of the cases, a native application should be opted since it gives a more powerful, concentrated, cleaner and faster experience. In addition to this, it gives a personalized content directly to the targeted user which helps to build the loyalty of the user. However, on the other hand, a responsive website should not be ignored. One should always remember that usually for an app, registration and giving of email and some degree of personal information is involved, which is a huge barrier to overcome. This may not work with your infrequent customers who may not prefer to give such kind of info to you. However, having a responsive website that enables your infrequent visitors to have a fast one to two touch conversions.
From the website development perspective, it would cost you a whole lot of money to build a responsive website, but this will save you money in the long run. As far as SEO point of view is concerned, there wouldn’t be much of a difference between a mobile theme and a responsive website design approach, however, not all ecommerce systems will enable you to achieve that. In addition, you should be ready to solve the problem of duplicate content, and canonical implementation would help you to do that. As far as point of view of the marketing team is concerned, where they may have the same problem as developers have. This is the fact that they have to place some sort of tracking code or implement some split testing for conversion rate optimization, and needs to be done on both the platforms. However, in the longer run, having your website ready for mobile is a sensible approach, for it is a trend of the future that is going to drive a majority of customers to your website.