For any ecommerce site, an appealing, functional and user-friendly online space is an absolute necessity. But the importance of having a site which is accessible on a multitude of platforms, is often disregarded: A site which is not optimised for mobiles is a site which will ultimately lose traffic and revenue. Given the increasing popularity of performing transactions through a mobile device, businesses should avoid any possible disadvantages that could place them behind the competition. Here are five reasons you need to optimise your site for mobile.
User-Friendliness Mobile sites are much simpler than their desktop counterparts. This difference is due to the diminutive nature of most mobile devices; a smaller screen removes the ability to include any unnecessary features which aren’t purely functional. As such, casual consumers may favour a mobile site due to its simplicity – why navigate a desktop site when you have no need for any of the additional functionality it offers? Have a look at this image depicted the different requirements for different devices.
You may favour loyal, dependable customers, but infrequent, one-time consumers still compose a significant amount of ecommerce-based sales. Remember that mobile and desktop offerings are very different indeed, and that a hastily-ported desktop site will be absolutely no competition for the most rudimentarily optimised mobile site- new advantages such as impulse buys, higher conversion rates and increased site traffic all prove the popularity of mobile over desktop, thanks to the user-friendly nature of mobile equivalents. It’s even better for business, as mobile sites allow you to seamlessly integrate social media and digital marketing campaigns into your site.
Where Are the Consumers? This recent preference for straightforward, concise mobile sites has been reflected in the stats, too. As of late 2013, around 55% of online consumer transactions were conducted on a mobile device, highlighting an expected change in consumer preferences. With ever-increasing smartphone adoption and mobile app usage, this surge in mobile consumers was highly predictable, given the accessibility and ease of mobile sites, and consumers’ almost constant access to a smartphone.
Of course, a poorly optimised mobile site will see any potential sales revert to mere passing traffic, so make sure that you can take advantage of an increasing pool of potential customers. Consider the increasing value of SEO and Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm, and note that any unoptimized site will be pushed further and further down search engine rankings. Mobile optimisation is almost as important as design, content or functionality.
Higher Standards One of the benefits of mobile sites is that they’re highly accessible, and that they give customer a chance to shop whenever and wherever they please – however, you shouldn’t be complacent just because you have a larger potential market. As stated earlier, a reliable, engaging user-experience is one factor which keeps mobile consumers returning, but if your mobile site isn’t properly optimised, customers will have an excuse to go elsewhere, a decision which may only take seconds. To combat the decreased patience of a mobile customer, you must ensure a site meets the following criteria:
– Does it load within a few seconds?
– How easy is it to navigate the site?
– Does it draw focus to key products, selling points and messages?
– Is the content accessible, readable and understandable?
Unfortunately, sites like this simply won’t do on mobile, although they may be slightly tolerated on desktop sites. If you’re unsure of any of these, considering hiring a software developer to create the optimal mobile site. While these may seem like basic points, any slight deviation (such as a site taking an extra second to load), may result in consumers going elsewhere.