In the modern day, it can seem as though everyone has a smartphone, with nearly 2.5 billion smartphone users currently existing. In the USA alone, we can see roughly 230 million users, the equivalent of over 70% of its population. In a recent study, it was also shown that the American public spends an average of 11 hours viewing media daily, with 4 of those hours being through using laptops, tablets or mobile phones.
Meanwhile, e-commerce is taking a similarly upwards trajectory. Each year, US e-commerce sales are on a constant rise. Last year, the total profits made by all e-commerce businesses was a combined total of £504.6 billion, which is estimated to rise to $560.7 billion before this year is over based on past data. This opens an interesting opportunity for the two to intertwine.
Where to take inspiration
The top-dogs of e-commerce should be an obvious case study for anyone looking to improve in the field. Last year, Amazon made up over 28% of the world’s total e-commerce profits, at $141.92 billion and had a total revenue of $232.89 billion. When looking at how much of the industry is in Amazon’s hands, it may seem daunting trying to catch up, but the market is huge and there’s plenty of money to go around.
The majority of big e-commerce stores have an app and a mobile site, which means anyone can use their preference and buy items the way they want. That being said, it’s also helped by all of the versions their site being friendly to all devices- especially mobile. Here’s some of the things you should start doing to achieve this too:
Speed to load
To get a good conversion rate for your mobile site, you need to focus on simplifying it in order to increase its speed. Studies show that users only bother waiting three seconds on average before giving up on a site, so speed is everything for keeping your customer from bouncing back to the Google page.
Google’s Mobile Test tool is a great asset to avoid the typical pitfalls in apps that Google have found. The key things to focus on are making sure it’s not hugely difficult for mobiles to load your pages, or even move from page to page- no one wants to visit a site that takes an eternity to load.
Avoiding Flash Player is something you should definitely do too, with its use often slowing down sites using it.
Be responsive and easily viewable
If you want your place of e-commerce to run smoothly when opened on mobile, you have to make sure it’s responsive enough to always show the features correctly on whatever device is being used, but with a display to suit the specific device. You can’t have the spacing of the site stretching things out on a mobile and making the information harder to view.
To make sure you’re not limiting your site’s design overall, you need to make sure you look for templates or structures that will be right for mobile. Don’t be afraid to contact a professional web designer for help for this, as optimising the layout of your mobile app isn’t a simple task for a beginner.
Shorten your site
Nobody likes scrolling down endlessly on a phone either. Just like long loading times, a large amount of scrolling is a major red flag for any business. When adapting your website to be mobile-friendly, make sure all its main features are condensed into a quite short page, so your customer can find what they need in no time at all.
Along with scrolling down, scrolling from side-to-side can be a major nuisance. Implementing a viewpoint meta tag can resolve this by automatically adjusting the page to fit its entirety onto the width of the device being used. This can be extremely important when fitting so much onto the small screen of a phone.
Wanting to know what needs to be improved at a later date? Be sure your app’s homepage also includes a feedback section to learn what your users want to see more of. Learning and improving from your first draft is always essential, and no one knows what customers want more than customers.
Make your buttons large and files small
On the subject of fitting your page to what’s best for a mobile, enlarging your buttons to be easily viewed and pressed on a phone’s small screen with the width of the finger. If not, the buttons on your web page will look a lot smaller on mobile, and people will have trouble getting through your site. That isn’t a good luck, and with Amazon a few clicks away, people won’t stick around.
Your users will need to see your text and links well in order to have no troubles navigating through. Don’t bother going the extra mile with loads of interesting typefaces or GIFs, however, as downloading more of everything means your site is slower. Stick to one of the default types.
Compressing the images that are already on your site through an image processor, or saving them on an online cache will also help the app run a lot smoother.
You can spend weeks polishing a site to perfection, but at the end of the day, there’ll still be some trial and error involved. Make sure you test everything, keep tabs on how the site is performing, and make necessary tweaks.
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