How and where people use your site is worth considering
How do you buy things? Do you hit the high street every time you need something, or do you pull out your phone and look for the best deal?
For the majority, mobile phones have become the default way to search for, research and buy products and services. This is why an essential element of modern web design is thinking mobile. If your website doesn't cater to mobile users, success will be much harder to achieve.
Without a smooth and engaging user experience on mobile devices, a business can suffer drastically. Studies into e-commerce found that 2015 is when mobile traffic became as prevalent as desktop traffic. Since then, this traffic has only grown, mobile shopping has become the norm, and businesses need to work harder to stay relevant.
The term used for this new type of shopping experience is m-commerce. If you're not familiar, m-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services from mobile phones or other handheld devices such as tablets.
This term was first coined back in 1997, but with rapid expansion and accessibility of smartphones in the past 12 years, the term is more relevant than ever. The basics of m-commerce may seem simple, but implementing them correctly can have a considerable impact on your business.
First things first: Make sure it works
A really easy way to lose customers is to give them a bad experience using your website.
Recent statistics found that after facing difficulty on a site, 40% of users will leave and visit a competitor. Common challenges faced while online shopping are slow loading times, difficult navigation and failure to complete the checkout process.
These difficulties are easy to overcome during website development and can have a significant impact. Proper mobile development can improve your search result rankings and is an excellent means of boosting your site's conversion rates.
A smooth and straightforward website is also essential to prevent any loss of sales and help to prolong customer engagement. If your site is easy to browse, then customers will do it longer.
Smooth functionality should be present for every aspect of a website, including payment functions such as in-app purchasing, mobile banking and the use of virtual mobile wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Who is visiting your site?
While smooth functionality is vital, it's no longer the only thing to consider for m-commerce success. Websites must be considering the various environments and contexts sites are visited in. This means getting to know the types of customers you will receive.
Two common types are:
One of the most common occasions people may visit commerce websites is during break times. This type of customer is browsing to fill time, relieve boredom and find some form of escapism during a work break. These visitors have no goal in mind, and so need something new or exciting to keep their interest.
A way to keep this type of visit regular is with updates and suggestions. Having something new to look at regularly improves the chances for repeat visits. Changing product images, updated homepages and the inclusion of a 'new' or 'discovery' section can keep your site looking fresh.
These new sections can make tailored suggestions and showcase new products that will increase engagement and user experience. Importantly, these small changes will keep these potential customers coming back.
Idle browsers are precisely what they sound like. Often browsing at home on their phone, looking for products they've been thinking about or searching for something new. This type of visitor to your site may have an active interest in buying. This is when you should be attempting to complete the sale as opposed to offering inspiration or relieving boredom.
To make sure such customers are likely to buy, your website should be responsive, convenient and informative. As mentioned before, to get a customer across the finish line, make sure it works.
There are other steps you can take to keep this type of customer engaged, such as reviews. Having the ability to receive and update reviews prevents customers from looking elsewhere for product information, which in turn makes sure they feel they are making a fully informed purchase.
What else should I remember for my mobile site?
Functionality is an essential aspect of engaging with any website visitor. A clear list of accepted payment methods, with mobile payment options, makes the purchase as smooth as possible for the customer. Functions to add products to the shopping cart and save for later are also great inclusion for commerce sites as they can maximise chances of turning an idle browser into a paying customer.
Whether new or existing, seeking specialist help can give you the most out of your e-commerce site. At Inspire, we can advise you on e-commerce platforms and digital marketing practices to help get your desktop and mobile online stores running smoothly to improve customer experience.