There is a lot that goes into designing a successful online store, whether it's mobile or not. But as smart phones become more and more prevalent, and more e-commerce retailers reach out to those users, there are some ideas and trends that are already clear winners. Using them in your mobile e-commerce site can help you avoid some of the costlier mistakes that others are making and give you a shortcut on the mobile business learning curve.
With that in mind, here are five tips for designing a better mobile e-commerce site:
1. Use short pages that are easy to scan. This is good advice for any online store, but it's especially important for mobile customers. No one wants to spend a lot of time scrolling down long lists or looking through big blocks of text, so make all the information on your site easy to scan and take in within a few seconds. And that's particularly important when it comes to headlines and product photos, where the most important details should be easy to see and recognize.
2. Employ a cleaner search and navigation structure. In order to have shorter, crisper pages, you might need to have more of them that are easy to find. Whether you are sorting items by product category or some other criteria, make it very simple for customers to search for what they want or move to other parts of the site quickly. From embedded links and breadcrumbs to an easily accessible search box, getting from any point on your mobile e-commerce site to another should require a few seconds or less.
3. Make allowances for portrait and landscape viewing. You might want to experiment with different fonts, zoom sizes, and even the layouts for the different ways that customers might interact with your mobile website. Although you may not be able to control how they shop with you, you can make sure that your pages and product descriptions are as compelling as possible in either orientation. Some pages are going to naturally lend themselves to one shape or the other, but make sure it's simple for customers to view your mobile e-commerce site in the way that's most convenient.
4. Keep issues of size and bandwidth in mind. With the increased availability of high-speed Internet almost everywhere in North America, most web designers and e-commerce retailers stopped paying too much attention to things like image sizes and page loading times in the past few years. With mobile e-commerce, however, those are concerns again, since users might face slow loading times and data plan restrictions. With that in mind, it's important to test your pages to ensure that a lack of speed isn't killing your mobile e-commerce sales.
5. Keep typed fields to a minimum. Typing text on a mobile device can be a frustrating, time-consuming exercise. Why not give buyers the option of saving account information, using check boxes, and otherwise taking advantage of convenient tools to avoid typing in long bits of text? Other than their name and address, there shouldn't be much for your customers to have to type on a mobile website. The more that buying from you feels like sending a very long text message, the more customers are going to be tempted to complete their purchase elsewhere.
Mobile e-commerce might be relatively new, but that doesn't mean there aren't big profits to be made, and established trends to tap into. Get in touch with the expert team at Mage Developers today if you want to make the most of any e-commerce opportunity, mobile or not.