Considering how critical a website can be for businesses small and large, it seems amazing how many companies still haven’t made the move to optimise their website for mobile.
30% of shoppers will give up on a transaction if the shopping experience isn't optimised for their mobile device. And so they should.
Mobile is no longer a trend; it’s a critical element of being a part of the online world. The average mobile shopper spends more money per purchase on their mobile device than they do on desktop, and if you’re only getting desktop business then your missing out on the lions share.
Google recently conducted a piece of research spanning 100 different mobile websites and 119 different participants to help fill a void in what we know about how people respond to mobile website design. Based on this research we've outlined 14 ways you can use their findings to make the most of your mobile investment.
1. Menus should be short and sweet
Think about your users on a smaller screen when designing your menu. Large menus may work well for various industries on desktop sites but mobile websites need small clearly defined options. Refine your product or service categories as much as possible.
2. Don’t let promos intimidate the user
Attacking users upon arriving to your site with pop-up promotions could put them off even landing on your site. Try not to expect too much too fast, and encourage them towards deals or promotions once they've had a chance to explore your site.
3. Design efficient forms
Mobile forms have a lot more constraints than desktop forms, the text is smaller, connections can be slow and the screens are smaller to name a few. It’s important to make text entry as easy as possible by only including as many fields as necessary and by auto-filling any fields where possible. If your form is more complex and requires multiple pages to fill out, include a progress bar along the top so users can see exactly where they are in the process.
4. Make sure your logo has a link.
Users of desktop and mobile sites expect to be able to click the company logo in the top left corner to take them back to the home page, and it's important you don’t let them down with this. Make sure your mobile site is as easy to navigate as possible by including this link.
5. Site search is critical.
If users are in a hurry they want to be able to find what they’re looking for as fast as possible. Site search is essential for this and is often one of the first things shoppers turn to. To make their experience as easy as possible make sure your search bar is visible on each and every page. Also, ensure the results are definable and can be organised by popular variables.
6. Placement is key
Your most important promotions or calls-to-action should be the first thing the user sees, and where you know they’re going to see them. Secondary tasks can appear below the fold or tucked away in a menu option.
7. Use filters
Users are not likely to spend a long time swiping through pages and pages of results. Help them narrow down their results to reduce volume, and let them know how many results will be returned after each filter applied.
8. Be clear why you need a user’s location
If you need to ask for a user’s location, be clear about why. For example some sites have a feature which offers the user all the best deals nearest their location. Often this can cause confusion if the user is looking for prices for other locations, e.g. hotels. By leaving these fields blank by default, users can always choose to populate them themselves when encouraged with a clear call-to-action.
9. Give them time to explore
Let your users explore and browse your website first without demanding registration in order to continue. Users that are unfamiliar with your brand are unlikely to commit to signing up without experiencing your brand or offerings first.Having a guest check-out option is great for helping to avoid frustration. It lets the user quickly and easily complete their purchase, and can always be followed up with a call-to-action later on to encourage them to sign up.
10. Make it easy to switch to between devices.
Many users still new to mobile browsing may not be comfortable completing their purchase on their mobile device. Having the option available to share information across multiple devices means they can resume their journey later on, keeping them in the sales funnel.
11. Use visual calendars for selecting dates.
It’s far easier for those on smaller screens to use a visual monthly calendar to select date ranges. Take your usability a step further by providing clear labels on the fields requiring start and end dates as well.
12. Don’t make users pinch-to-zoom
By having to pinch-to-zoom on your site users may miss valuable messages or calls-to-action. Design your website so users never have to pinch.
13. Use high quality, expandable images.
Shoppers like to see what they’re purchasing, and they expect high quality, high resolution images (if not videos of the product in use/being worn) to be able to see every single detail.
14. Optimise your entire site for mobile
In some cases the mobile site contains a mixture of desktop and mobile-optimised pages, which can actually be harder for the user to navigate than a straight desktop site. Making all pages of your site optimised for mobile ensures there is no confusion.
Mobile browsing is no longer a trend; it affects any business aiming to communicate with their audience online. It is up to businesses to take advantage of the opportunities provided by mobile to cater to and connect with these visitors who will be accessing their website.
If you’re interested in taking the next step and making the most of your online presence, contact our team today. We’re happy to discuss your particular needs, and show you the different tools and resources we use to help our clients every day.