More and more people prefer to use their smartphones instead of desktop computers. The interactions are not limited to just checking the latest news from the world, checking email or bank account. Customers tend to buy more often thanks to the mobile channel. Most of search operations made through a mobile channel can lead to purchase or other types of conversions.
Methods of Improving Mobile Experience
Customization for mobile devices
This may seem simple and obvious but in practice there is a lot of e-commerce sites, in which only the basic RWD module is implemented (i.e media queries), often only fitting the three most popular screen widths: desktop 992px./1200px., tablet 768px and mobile 320px.
Using solutions based on out-of-the-box templates are not always great idea, because very often the mobile view is not optimized and is not adjusted correctly. When setting those templates, we expect that it will work properly in every resolution and customers will be happy to visit our site again and make their next purchase. However, this does not happen and mobile customers are reluctant to buy from our site.
We should think about what is important on our website and what users would expect during duration of shopping process. Each industry is different and each shopping process is different, so we should take this into account when designing mobile e-commerce.
Simplification of the interface
Mobile stores should be designed in accordance with the mobile-first index principle but in practice it looks completely different. Desktop view is usually the base to which we adjust subsequent resolutions. And yet it is easier to add something - as in the case of mobile to desktop design, than to think about what needs to be removed from the extended desktop to mobile design.
The first screen of webstore should be attractive and show clearly what shop has to sell. Moderation is also very important - exaggerating with promotions can have negative impact on the sale. Transparent and easy navigation is a key element of the mobile e-commerce solution. Not always three lines arranged horizontally (called "hamburger") will be an obvious menu icon for your target group.
Another important element is taking care of a well-visible, easy to use and intuitive product search engine - often the purchase takes place spontaneously - let the user type what he thinks and make it easier for him to find and buy a product.
Presenting products from the good side
The key criteria for product selection by customer are good photos. It is worth considering how to show all the advantages of our products in attractive and simple way. The pictures are shown on a smaller screen, therefore it’s a good idea to force-change orientation of the enlarged product image indicated by the thumbnail. The user will have to rotate his device 90 degrees but it will result in increased field of visibility. This will make it easier for customer to view photos in better resolution. Better quality images will have a positive impact on the customer's reception and decision to make a purchase.
Making sure that the customer will not feel lost
In the avenues of supermarkets customer can find direction markers where he can go and what he can buy. It is no different in the case of online store. The most popular hint are breadcrumbs that indicate where we are, where we came from and how we can come back. This is not the only way - distinguishing category or subcategory with different color can show the customer place where he is actually located.
If the customer reaches the shopping cart, we should show him what steps are left until the end of shopping process. By using different colors we can show customers steps which will bring them closer to completing purchase or lead to cancelling whole order. By using the edit buttons client should always have option to change the information he has already filled.
Remembering about the mobile specificity
When designing or adjusting store for mobile usability, it’s important to remember about the areas that the user can click with his thumb. The right hand is the most common position in which we keep smartphones. Making “add to cart” buttons easily accessible and visible will prevent customer breaking away from purchase decision to enlarge the screen. All fields for clicking or entering data should be large and wide, so even imprecise screen tap will take customer where he wants.
Improving the shopping path
When customer reach the product page, it’s important that he can easily find where he can add the product to the cart, change the quantity of ordered goods and see specifications and photos of the product. Making him search for these functionalities, especially the "Add to cart" button, may push him to change his mind and cancel the order.
After adding a product to the basket, the user should receive a proper notification. Lack of website reaction is often the reason of cancelling the purchase. In the verification process, the transparency is crucial - removing all unnecessary advertisements, showing benefits of the product and guiding the user how to quickly and simply get through the shopping process will result in successful transaction.
Making the forms simple and clear
Filling forms can be annoying because of requirement to type in the same data everytime and everywhere. To simplify this process, when customer has to log in or register give him option to use social network services data. Dividing too complex data requirements into sections or steps will also improve the entire shopping process. If incorrect data is filled in, the client should be immediately notified what is wrong, in order to correct mistakes before proceeding. Large and wide form-fields provide easy and transparent data entry. Requesting data from customer that are absolutely necessary and pointing clearly the optional ones will make the whole process more user friendly and transparent.
Product sorting and filtering
A great convenience for mobile users is the ability to filter and sort products. Such functionalities should be easily accessible - especially for customers using their mobile devices which screens are much smaller. This is also a great convenience for users who only browse offers and are not yet convinced to buy specific product. There is a high probability that they will find desired product due to narrowing the search range.
The key to profitable ecommerce business is optimizing and adjusting to the customers needs. Due to increasing amount of smartphone users you have to adapt your online store both to desktop and mobile clients. By doing this, your store will gain more web traffic - resulting in increased chance that customer will make a purchase.