As an ecommerce entrepreneur, you already know the power of online selling. The convenience, flexibility, safety, and security that customers find when purchasing goods over the internet, combined with the sea change brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, mean that e-retailing is here to stay. However, you are selling your buyers and yourself short if you fail to make your online business into a place where smartphone and tablet users feel like opening their wallets.
What is mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce, or mcommerce for short, can be defined as sales that take place electronically via wireless technology such as tablets and smartphones. Because of the nature of these devices, an mcommerce business should focus on ensuring that the customer can shop for items and check out seamlessly using a small screen. To that end, companies are embracing concepts such as responsive design to bring mobile friendliness to their sites.
Take advantage of the trend.
You probably see it in both your business and personal life: Smartphones are everywhere. With each passing year, consumers are increasingly using them to conduct much more than basic phone calls. Banking, instant messaging, finding directions, searching for restaurant recommendations, managing health – all these tasks and more are now being completed on digital devices.
Shopping is no exception to the smartphone takeover. People are researching products, finding bargains, and making their purchases with their hand-held devices.
The fact is that the retail environment is evolving and becoming more mobile-centered every year. If you don’t want to be left behind or lose valuable customers, it’s time to take your ecommerce site to the next level.
In a nutshell, a mobile-friendly website displays a different version of itself to visitors using smartphones and tablets to accommodate their smaller screen sizes. This is achieved by:
- Responsive design that automatically adjusts to the user’s screen size.
- Dynamic serving that shows visitors different versions of the website according to the device they are using.
- A separate mobile app that consumers can use in lieu of accessing your regular pages via their browser.
At a minimum, you should implement responsive design to optimize the user’s experience and ability to navigate.
Choose a template or theme that is mobile responsive.
If you are using a turnkey system that provides a wide range of templates, you can be confident that most will be optimized for mobile visitors. If, however, you have already chosen a theme that is not responsive and are unable to change it, try updating the header tags on each page.
Once you have, your pages should automatically reformat.
Reduce and clarify content.
Small user screens are ideal for content that jumps out and calls a visitor to clear and immediate action. Shorten the length of both text and forms down to their bare bones. Remember that mobile phone users are generally on the go and are not primed for a lengthy reading or writing experience.
Reduce download speed.
Like it or not, visitors will click away from a website that takes more than seven seconds to load. In order to make sure your page loads more quickly, compress your images to reduce their file size without compromising on quality. Use a third-party site to host your videos. Then, embed them on your page to shrink their virtual footprint. Avoid flash for your animations since it is not supported by most mobile providers. Enlarge buttons and place them where they can be easily pressed with mobile users’ thumbs.
Make your links mobile-friendly.
Space hyperlinks out to reduce the chances that a visitor will click on the wrong one. In addition, make sure that the pages you link to are also optimized for an excellent mobile experience.
On a desktop, 14px is the standard, but it still might be too small for a cellphone or tablet’s screen. Also remember that your font choice should be readable on these small screens while remaining aligned with your branding.
Get rid of pop-ups.
Those nifty little pop-ups that provide extra information or give gentle reminders are great for desktops. However, it is impossible to set them so that they only come up at specific times.
Conduct regular tests.
Don’t just assume that your site is mobile-friendly; test it out for yourself. Use a free online tool to assess mobile friendliness, or do some playing on your own desktop computer. Gradually reduce the width of your tab to see how the site morphs into a mobile-friendly version.
Interface with social media.
Thanks to smartphones’ high-resolution and built-in cameras, many users are changing the way they use social media. Whereas sites like Facebook were once primarily utilized by family and friend groups to facilitate fast and easy communication from anywhere, they are evolving to also encompass high-level marketing. With the flash of an image and the addition of a quick dash of text, people are providing millions of pieces of free advertising for the businesses they love.
If you are to truly integrate your website into the current and future business landscape, you should jump on the social media marketing bandwagon. If you have not already done so, establish yourself and your brand on sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Think of them as free forums to share information, images, and testimonials about your products. As people begin to follow you, there will also be opportunities for you to interact with them. It’s one of the most efficient and fun ways to connect with consumers, and form lasting relationships.
Tablets and cellphones are quickly becoming the shopping methods of choice for today’s busy consumers. Optimize your website for the influx of mobile traffic that is sure to come in the next few years. By so doing, you will please your customers while remaining competitive in the global marketplace.