A better mobile experience, everyone wants it. Especially your customers.

The eCommerce industry continues to grow every year and mobile shopping is growing right along with it.

Take this statistic from Internet Retailer for example. In June 2013, 55% of all e-retail occurred from a mobile device. That is huge!

In order to stay relevant, merchants need to be educated as to why they need a responsive site and how it should work.

eCommerce platform companies need to keep innovating and allowing for complete customizability. This in turn helps web designers and developers that aim to see their eCommerce business clients succeed in the billion dollar industry.

We’ve spoken to some experts that have shared their tips for designing a better m-Commerce experience.

The m-Commerce Experts Weigh In

Dan Griffiths m-commerce expert

Dan Griffiths
Built By Buffalo

Think about context

People use their tablet or mobile in different situations, on the sofa or while out socialising. Keeping this in mind ensures that any relevancy about the products or service is communicated clearly to the user throughout the site.

Design for flow

Users should be able to find, evaluate and purchase an item as quickly as possible.  While crucial on desktops, this is even more important on mobile – you have to reduce the barriers to a customer finalising an order. As images are a key tool for online sales, try to consider the best methods to allow users to browse through images seamlessly. Galleries and enlarged pictures are two important things to get right in particular.

[Tweet “For a better mCommerce experience, reduce the barriers to a customer finalising an order – @builtbybuffalo”]

Build for speed

Wherever possible, try to optimise your pages so that they load fast. Striking a balance of quality, against file size with images, is a great way of doing this along with removing unused Javascript and keeping the HTML/CSS as tight as possible.  Even though a responsive approach works for many sites larger projects might benefit from a full mobile site to allow true optimisation and contextual content for mobile.


Dan Clutterbuck m-commerce expert

Daniel Clutterbuck
Webtise
Twitter @DClutt

“When designing for mobile, it’s important to factor in your key metrics. First establish what they are, (A sale, email sign-up, social media follow, etc) then design around the goal.

With mobile, we find people are often in ‘research mode’ over ‘intent to buy mode’ so providing a user experience that allows them to read, learn or investigate, will help push them along the buying funnel.

Any mobile development should be optimised for touch (thumb friendly!). Research how apps do this to generate ideas.

One final point would be to factor speed optimisation. Look at optimising content, code and the server you’re on as people if using data roaming (not WiFi) to browse, don’t bounce off your site!


 

Tim Brown m-commerce expert

Tim Brown
Snap Agency

“For mobile websites or responsive designs that are mobile friendly, one the most critical elements is the website’s search capability and prominence. Take a cue from Target.com and Amazon and give your users what they want and have the search bar 1st or second after your branding in the visual hierarchy.

Amazon and Target m-commerce shopping experience

Research has shown that search should take precedence over any extensive categorization on the home page for most sites. A key takeaway is that if people want to use your website a certain way, your bottom line will thank you if you feed their desire to get what they want quickly. Design for the way visitors want to use it and not how stakeholders in your organization tend to see it.

Because people are using different devices sequentially, don’t limit your ideas of what’s considered a conversion. People might start a transaction from their phone, but they absolutely need to be able to save their progress and move to another device, or e-mail themselves their progress.

Key takeaway; allow people using devices sequentially to continue their progress without too much interruption or repetition on another device. Respect the people using your websites time.

Read a study from Google about the prominence of this behavior 


Evan Kosowski m-commerce expert

Evan Kosowski
Digital Operative

“Design with a grid that is conducive to the mobile format. Designing content in “modules” and/or “card” style elements in a mobile friendly width allows for easy rearrangement.

Rearranging element is much easier and time-effective than designing new elements specifically for mobile devices.”


Frederick haywood m-commerce expert

Frederick Haywood
dotcomweavers

 “If you’re having an eCommerce website developed today, it’s important to have it built using the latest technologies and Internet trends. With the rapid increase of Smartphone usage and various other mobile devices, eCommerce websites must be responsive offering the customer a seamless and carefree approach to buying a product or service on a mobile device. There are many tips for a good eCommerce mobile design, here are just a few design best practices.

[Tweet “#eCommerce sites must be responsive to offer customers a seamless experience on mobile – @dotcomweavers”]

Condensed Content

Content is king! Or at least, in this case, content simplified and direct as possible is king. While you want your customer to be able to read the same content from one device to another, the key on mobile device and their smaller screens is not to overcrowd and be more direct when describing your products. This may involve breaking up text over multiple pages.

Layout, Navigation and Functionality Simplified

Due to smaller screens on mobile devices, layout and navigation should be must simpler than your standard desktop version. Eliminate unnecessary graphical elements, menu buttons and images that may reduce optimal viewing on mobile devices. And even though you may be breaking up text over multiple pages, the key is to only provide enough details about your product and services that keep navigation easy. This may involve using a completely separate mobile navigation design optimized for touch screens or non-mouse devices.

Checkout Process Simplified

Reduce the number of steps it takes for buying your product or service by adding a guest checkout where a customer doesn’t have to sign up for an account. If a customer is shopping on a mobile device, 9 out of 10 times he wants an expedited shopping experience. If your checkout is more than a couple of steps, display a progress bar that allows the customer to see how many steps remain. And with the advent of so many payment services, offer different ways to pay instead of just debit or credit cards. Google Wallet, PayPal and Amazon are leaders in alternative payment solutions.


Andrew Rudister m-commerce expert

Andrew Rudister
MAXBURST

“If you sell a product over the Internet, it’s not enough to have an awesome website. To remain competitive, you need a great mobile version, too. According to Google, if a mobile user is not happy with your mobile website, there is a 40% chance they will visit a competitor’s site instead. You can’t afford to let that happen. A responsive eCommerce design is critical.

[Tweet “If you sell online, it’s not enough to have an awesome site. To remain competitive, you need a great mobile version”]

Navigation

Mobile users don’t want to have to hunt down what they’re looking for. It makes sense that visitors will quickly leave sites that are not user-friendly. That’s why easy navigation for any eCommerce store is absolutely crucial. It should let customers find the product or information they need without any delays or difficulties. Clearly labeled tabs or categories are very helpful to visitors.

Related posts:  Web Design Inspiration: Stock vs. Custom Photos

Images

Sixty-seven percent of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and making a purchase. Therefore, how visitors view your site is one of the most vital elements for any eCommerce site. Sites that lack responsive design could make viewing images difficult. Images sized properly and of good, clear quality can mean the difference between a sale or no sale. A 360-degree view of a product goes a step further in the customer experience by giving them an even better look at a product.

Easy Payments

Mobile customers aren’t as likely to whip out their credit cards when making a purchase on their phones as they would on a computer. The fewer steps required to make a purchase on a phone the better. Cell phone users don’t have the patience to try and hunt down the “check out” button or provide a lot of personal information. According to statistica.com, Paypal’s mobile payment volume amounted to $27 billion U.S. dollars last year, almost double the amount in 2012. There’s a reason why it’s so popular. It’s a one-stop-shop. Integrating Paypal or Google checkout, which is very similar, will make shopping a breeze for your customers.

The Bottom Line … When mobile customers look up your site on their mobile device, it should capture their attention immediately. After all, first impressions on the web are everything.”


Guy Stradling m-commerce expert

Guy Stradling
thinkingjuice

 “First of all, I’m writing this for businesses and business owners in the defence of designers – because YOU have a direct affect on the outcome of the design (you’re signing it off, right!). Secondly, I’m writing it for designers – know when your designing something for a beauty parade or designing something that’s commercially focused and engineered to get results. You’re job is to create relevance, not art (although it could be both).

A package of work that is too often missed is an Insight & Planning phase and careful study of analytics. Get to know your mobile audience. Designers face lots of issues, but they’re practical ones and should be answerable before starting a design. Solve it before you go to screen and don’t make assumptions. Doing this package of work can set you apart from competitors, achieving something sticky and unique.

What some businesses don’t realise is that time invested in the early stages of Insight & Planning can be a lot less expensive than getting your design wrong and living with the consequences. Human emotions play approximately 50% of the role in our buying decisions, so you need to understand the psychological triggers that make people respond to you and pull them through to a sales-ready position. It’s complicated and it’s not the sole responsibility of the designer to get this right.

  • There’s no such thing as an ‘average user’ – make your persona’s real people and learn to understand the experience they want when shopping on their mobile. Consider also second screens, ‘meerkating’ and the habits of your mobile audience.

[Tweet “Human emotions play approximately 50% of the role in our buying decisions – @thinkingjuice”]

The rules to become better informed about your online business and the way you deal with transactions on mobile are these:

  • Design for your audience, not who you think they are or who you want them to be.
  • Don’t expect the same behaviour on desktop to translate to mobile.
  • Invest in Insight & Planning to change the unknowns about your audience.
  • Should analytics and user testing say to change something, split test it and change it.
  • Think two-dimensionally – how do you turn customers into loyal followers and repeat visitors?
  • Keep one eye on technology and one eye on your competitors. Stay in front.
  • Plan the growth of your digital business only 12 months ahead. Keep analysing it.
  • Never be happy with a conversion rate.

Mark Gale m-commerce expert

Mark Gale
Humaan

“Mobile devices present significant challenges to delivering a great eCommerce customer experience, including limited screen real estate and time pressured shoppers. Nonetheless, these challenges can be reimagined as opportunities by focusing on a fundamental aspect of why people use mobile devices in the first place: convenience.

Mobile customers typically spend less time on-site so retailers should look to compress the customer experience to reflect the available space/time in a way that meets or exceeds expectations.

Delivering customer convenience on mobile devices is a function of great design.

For example, look to make product search and navigation as intuitive as possible so customers can easily find products. Also, look to communicate that the checkout process is streamlined (but make sure that if you promise a “One-minute checkout” you can deliver on this).

[Tweet “Streamline your #eCommerce checkout process for a better mobile experience – @wearehumaan”]

Users browsing via mobile often want an easy way to make contact with a retailer. Again, design choices that facilitate this via a prominent “call” or “view map” buttons save time for customers looking for phone support or a physical store location.

Making life easier for your customers will lead to a positive brand perception, providing a valuable edge over the competition and shifting the focus away from price-driven strategies.”


Wes Chyrchyl m-commerce expert

Wes Chyrchel
Cofa Media

“At Cofa Media, we love mobile. So much so, that we have bet our business on it. We have learned quite a bit about eCommerce over the last 12 years. Every eCommerce website we build is responsive and in addition we build companion iOS and Android apps for many of our clients. Here are two of the biggest issues we see consistently that need improvement for mobile eCommerce stores,

Add larger pictures and more of them. Don’t rely on pinch and zoom. If you want clients to convert on a mobile device you have to make the picture big and have multiple close up pictures of the product. Mobile devices are small, so you have to work hard to make the experience easy.

Make your Buy button huge. We see this often. All of the product information and options and a tiny Buy button at the bottom. You have to make it easy for people to buy your product on mobile. Increase the size of that Buy buttons target area and take up the width of the screen.

[Tweet “Make it easy for customers to buy your product on mobile by increasing CTA size – @weschyrchel”]

Take some time and dig into your eCommerce stores analytics. It offers a tremendous amount of information about what your customers are doing. Hopefully, these tips help increase your conversions on your next eCommerce store!


Thank you to all our experts who participated in this week’s tips from eCommerce Experts!

If you have any tips to share with the community, we encourage you to leave a comment below. If you’d like to participate in a future expert post, please email questions@lemonstand.com.

LemonStand Is Mobile-Friendly By Default

Provide your customers a beautiful shopping experience, no matter what device they’re using.

Try It Free For 14 Days