Adapting Ecommerce: Optimizing Your Ecommerce Site for Mobile Devices

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Apr 26, 2022

Ecommerce is a growing industry as more and more companies switch from brick-and-mortar stores to online retail. With the ever-increasing options of online storefronts and more people wanting to do their shopping online than ever, almost anyone can start up a store online and start selling products. This is great for competition in the ecommerce industry, but it also makes it difficult to really stand out in it. This is why ecommerce optimization is crucial for your website so you can make sure you’re showing up in the right places, but this means your site must be mobile optimized too.

Why is Ecommerce Optimization Important?

Ecommerce is a drastically growing industry. This is especially true after the Covid-19 pandemic because more and more people became comfortable with sitting on their couch and shopping while they watched TV rather than packing up the children or taking time out of their day to go to the store. As a matter of fact, according to Oberlo, mobile ecommerce sales went from $2.32 trillion in sales in 2019 to $2.91 trillion in 2020, all the way up to $3.56 trillion in 2021. About three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases is done on a mobile device.

Websites that are not properly mobile optimized for this huge increase in mobile shopping are not only hurting their ability to better rank on search engines, but they are also making it very difficult for customers to easily browse and shop on their sites. When this happens, those customers will head out the metaphorical door and hop right over to the next store on the block—or the next store on the list.

Tips for Getting Your Ecommerce Site Mobile Optimized

When determining whether your ecommerce site is mobile optimized, it is important to remember that it’s usually not a quick yes or no answer. Search engines like Google take so many factors into consideration when calculating SEO, especially with the constantly changing technology and search features, so it can take time to make sure your site is perfectly user friendly. Online tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you determine how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

How can you ensure ecommerce optimization for mobile?

  1. Check your website layout.
  2. Simplify the checkout process.
  3. Optimize your navigation.
  4. Increase website load speeds.
  5. Compress and optimize all images and other media.

Check Your Website Layout

The layout of a website is one of the first parts of optimizing a website as it is built. If the layout is not user friendly and designed to highlight the right areas of your business, depending on the purpose of your specific site, it will not perform at the level you would like. This is especially true when it comes to mobile optimization. If a person has to scroll a lot or can only see a bunch of written content when they just want to look at the clothes you design, they will get irritated and bored very quickly and bounce from your site. 

Some tips for getting your website layout mobile optimized:

  • Make sure the layout is simple and works on a small screen as well as a large one.
  • Choose fonts that are large, easy to read, and a dark color on a light background to avoid straining their eyes.
  • Create large and clickable buttons. If you have links, make sure it is very clear where people need to click to get the information they want.
  • Make the layout responsive. This means the site automatically adjusts to the screen size so the customer will have a good shopping experience whether they are on a desktop, iPad, tablet, or any sized cell phone.
  • Limit pop-ups. Ads and pop-ups are incredibly annoying on a mobile device, as they usually take up the whole screen, are difficult to exit, and make the user experience exhausting. Try to avoid pop-ups, but if you choose to use them, make sure they also adjust to mobile screens.

Simplify the Checkout Process

A difficult and not-properly-optimized checkout process is one of the quickest ways to lose customers even if they are interested in your products. This process can be even worse on a mobile device if a person is on their phone in the middle of doing something and have to go through a time-consuming or complicated process just to buy from your site.

The checkout process can be simplified by allowing simple pay options like PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo, or other payment processors where users may already have all their information stored. This takes away the need for them to hunt down their credit card, which can be very inconvenient if they aren’t near it at the time—and by the time they are near it, they might have forgotten they were purchasing something at all—and it also removes the need for them to enter all their billing and shipping information because these sites will autopopulate it for you. This can be accomplished through enabling autofill on your site too. The customer’s mobile device will populate the data for their shipping and billing information when they click the box so they don’t have to enter everything manually.

If the checkout process is more than one page, the customer will lose interest. This is especially true if they are on a slower network that makes load time much longer and time between pages too high.

Optimize Your Navigation

A website’s navigation is an integral part of the layout, but it may need to be more optimized than you think. User experience is highly dependent upon a strong navigation system, and this includes knowing what your customers want to see, where they will be looking on each page, and what information they want. For example, a pet food website might have research articles and data available for clear navigation from each food brand, whereas a clothing retail will be more cut-and-dry and guide visitors right to their clothing options.

Since mobile devices can take longer to load depending on the network, allowing users to filter their search results down to minute details is very helpful for getting conversions on a mobile site. This means letting them sort from highest to lowest price, have a search box that searches for very specific keywords, and it can be even more specific depending on what is sold. That same pet food store that has clear navigation will also have the ability for a person to filter by animal species, diet preferences, brands, and type of food. The clothing retailer will filter by color, length, maybe even event. You get the picture. The idea is that people don’t have to scroll endlessly just to browse your site.

Make sure the navigational features you have set up for your desktop site show up well on mobile. A lot of times menus that span the top of a screen won’t convert well to a mobile device and will end up cutting out many of the options. A dropdown menu can be helpful in these situations so users can easily jump into the menu and go exactly where they want to go. The most important pages should be top on the menu, especially if you have a lot of options, and limit those options as much as possible by having main options and subpages once they click on the main page in the menu. Again, they should not have to scroll through 25 page choices just to get to the one they want.

Increase Website Load Speeds

This one is especially important on mobile. As previously mentioned, mobile devices are probably going to load slower than a desktop, depending on the device and the network, so it is crucial not to add to the frustration by being a website that takes so long to load they don’t even want to bother with it. In just 3-4 seconds, mobile searchers will lose interest in a website loading, especially if they can’t tell if it’s frozen or still loading. How many times have you clicked on a search result just to have it sit in limbo for 5-10 seconds before you just hopped down to the next search result that loaded instantly? That first website just lost your business, and you will probably never try to go back to their site, either out of frustration, lack of interest because you got it somewhere else, or assuming they are no longer a functional store.

Improve your website speed with optimization tactics like caching your site, compressing images and videos, reducing the amount of large items, and making sure your site is quick on all browsers since mobile browsers range from Safari to Chrome to opening inside of Instagram, Facebook, or other social media sites. Use a speed test tool to determine how fast your site is and how it can be further improved to be mobile optimized.

Compress and Optimize All Images and Other Media

As part of making your site faster on mobile devices, the compression and optimization of images and media will be happening anyway, but it is really important that it is done in a way that makes the photos and videos look great on mobile, as well as perform and load quickly. This means that all product photos should be high-resolution with great lighting. Poor quality images will not convert, and this is even more true on mobile devices because they will not be showing up as largely and easy for people to see details. The photos should show up large and then be able to be opened up to see larger and even zoomed in on so people can really see the product well and not wonder what they are getting.

If you do choose to have ecommerce videos on your site, make sure they are the right size to be mobile optimized and do not autoplay. The videos that autoplay make the website load slower and invade people’s lives and irritate them.

About Ignitro Studios

Since 2013, Ignitro Studios has been working to blend marketing and technology in support of agencies and other marketers. By understanding both sides of web development, we have a unique perspective and advantage within the industry. We provide design, development, project management, QA, and strategy, driving the bus so our clients don’t have to. We will work with our clients to get results while also empowering them to do their job better. Learn more about Ignitro Studios.

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