Mobile Ecommerce Optimization: Shape Up for Success in 2017

Any marketing leader paying attention to their analytics knows by now that a large chunk, if not most, of their ecommerce site traffic is coming from users on mobile devices. The problem is that when it comes to site development, many online retailers are still treating desktop visitors as their primary customer base. Ignoring the needs of mobile visitors in 2017 is like refusing to give up your old cassette player even though you can stream music. There’s a better way!

As marketing leaders look for ways to optimize their sites for mobile ecommerce, we’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks to help get 2017 sales headed in the right direction.

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Make Sure That Your Site is Responsive

A responsive ecommerce site is essentially table-stakes in 2017. If a website doesn’t provide a strong user experience on mobile devices, that site is basically conceding half of its traffic to a competitor. For example, mobile sites should be easy for users to navigate and should provide pertinent information like store locations and hours, as well as a link to any sales flyers, in as few clicks as possible.

Pro tip: Your mobile site should be designed for people with fat thumbs and poor eyesight. Make sure your buttons are a decent size and that your links aren’t bunched together. This will also cut down on angry phone calls to your customer service hotline.

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Forget The Flash

iPhones make up over 40% of all smartphones in use in the United States, and they don’t support flash. So why implement features that will appear broken to a significant portion of your customers? Ditch the flash.

Get Rid of Pop-Ups and Interstitials on Your Mobile Site

Google is starting to penalize mobile sites that use pop-up ads and interstitial ads in 2017. The prototypical “give us your email to save 10% on your purchase” pop-ups will still work on desktops, but a few extra email addresses aren’t worth risking your ecommerce site’s organic search rankings.

Make Your Site’s Blog AMP-Friendly

Google’s AMP, which stands for accelerated mobile pages, is an open-html framework that allows site content to load instantly – even video. While AMP doesn’t directly impact Google’s search algorithm (not yet at least), it does indirectly affect sites’ SEO performance due to the lightning fast load speeds AMP enables.

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Speaking of Speed, Make Your Site Faster

Show me a slow ecommerce site and I’ll show you a profit-loser. Not only do the faster loading times contribute to better rankings, but they help lower bounce rates and cart abandonments while giving users a better overall experience – which is important for repeat business. Ecommerce sites should have their development teams relentlessly search for ways to improve page load times – such as improving the site’s hosting configuration and optimizing images.

Simplify The Checkout Process

The adage that the site with the fewest clicks required wins, rings true on mobile devices. Customers on mobile devices want the simplest checkout process possible. Regarding payment, there are more and more options in the app store every day. It’s not important to have all of them but, in addition to accepting credit cards, we recommend accepting Paypal at the very least, and Google Wallet if possible.

Pro Tip: Marketing leaders should make sure to include a guest checkout option on mobile ecommerce sites – not many mobile shoppers want to take the time to create an account from their phones.

Is your ecommerce site ready for growth this year? Check out this free tool from Google to see if your site is mobile friendly – but know it’s really just a starting point. Keep an eye out for signs from your site’s mobile performance to identify other ways that you can improve your site’s performance – and your brand’s bottom line.

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