Mobile eCommerce (mCommerce) is growing.

It also looks like it’s here to stay.

A significant portion of eCommerce sales are now coming from mobile devices. An overwhelming 74% of traffic to all Shopify stores are on mobile.

eMarketer reports global mCommerce sales rose by 40.3% in 2017 to a whooping $1.357 trillion. That’s 6% of total spend in retail. Furthermore, 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last 6 months.

But you don’t need to look at the numbers. Ask yourself: when was the last time you browsed, researched or bought something from your phone?

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The lesson is clear. If you want to succeed with your eCommerce business in today’s technological landscape, catering to your mobile audience is mandatory, not a nice-to-have. Your mobile site also influences how well you perform on Google.

**Furthermore, there is a gap between customer’s expectations on mobile and what is provided today. **

How can you ensure your shop is optimised for the digital-first, mobile-toting, omni-channel customer?

Well, get started with ensuring your shop is mobile-optimised with these 5 steps.

Step 1. Ensure your site is using mobile-responsive design

This is the foundation of all your mobile eCommerce efforts.

Most themes on site builders like WordPress and Squarespace are built with mobile-responsiveness in mind. Modern eCommerce platforms like Shopify allow you to create optimised stores with little technical knowledge.

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So that’s easy, right? But there is more.

Step 2. Evaluate your current customer experience of your eCommerce site on mobile and desktop:

After assessing your site’s mobile design, evaluate how it is performing on mobile devices. Don’t forget to think across different platforms or device types.

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Think of these use cases when testing your site’s user experience.

  • Buying a single product and going straight to checkout
  • Buying multiple products
  • Buying multiple products, leaving the site and coming back again
  • Test the contact us page if your form is working properly
  • Display and rendering of product images and product descriptions
  • Appearance of your navigation bar and sidebar, does it cover any critical site components?
  • Do product filters filter items correctly?

Step 3. Evaluate your site speed on mobile

People are notoriously impatient on mobile devices.

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They want to quickly get information, finish the checkout process or view a product immediately when they click through.

Data from Think With Google shows 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load.

Therefore, mobile speed equals more customers.

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Source: Think With Google

At the checkout stage, speed is even more crucial. Keep page load speeds to under 3 seconds or 57% of your site’s visitors will abandon their carts.

Clearly, mobile speed and page size matter to your business’s bottom line. So what can you do?

One area which heavily influences your page load speed are the images on your website. It is also your easiest page speed optimisation win.

Make sure images are optimised for size and web display. Use an image compression tool like Compressor.ioto reduce image sizes on your website. Alternatively, look at your image dimensions and format to reduce the sizes of your images.

You can also use Google PageSpeed Insights to review your page speed.

Step 4. Avoid auto-rotating homepage carousels on mobile

Auto-rotating homepage carousels, sideshows and carousels may look pretty, but are bad news for mobile sites.

They slow down your site and confuse your site visitors. In a research study conducted by LemonStand on mobile eCommerce best practices, users often opened wrong sliders, were disrupted when focusing on a specific slide. They also tend to perceive animated carousel content as advertising and avoid it.

A simpler and more efficient method is to display important slide content as static content on the homepage.

Step 5. Ensure your checkout process is mobile-friendly

You need to make your checkout process simple and fast while a person is on their mobile device.

Remember on mobile devices, typing tends to be slower compared to desktops. A person’s fingers are clumsier on a smartphone than on a desktop keyboard.

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You’ll also want to keep text input on your mobile checkout page to a minimum. Remember on mobile devices, an on-screen keyboard will pop up whenever a person needs to fill in a form. This reduces the viewable screen area and makes forms harder to fill in.

You’ll also want to break down your checkout process into multiple steps. By breaking down a complex form, your users will be less intimidated. For example, Topman uses a progress indicator to guide the shopper along the checkout process.

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Source: Crazy Egg

You can also use an accordion on your mobile site to save space and indicate progress in the checkout process.

Here’s how Apple does it on their mobile site.

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Source: Crazy Egg

Conclusion

By now, you know mobile optimisation is essential for growing your eCommerce store.

It’s not enough to have a mobile-optimised website. You need to think about the user experience with mobile devices. You also need to understand how users interact with their mobile devices and design your mobile eCommerce sites accordingly.

Get started with optimising your mobile site’s page load speed as a first step. Remember to approach this process from the view of your customers.

Think about this: what if my customer wanted to do this on my shop, how seamless would it be? Would I enjoy shopping on my own shop?

Once you have these questions in mind, you can sit down and evaluate where to improve your mobile customer experience.  Want to improve your customer’s tracking experience on mobile? Our tracking pages are fully mobile-optimised to cater to your increasingly mobile audience. Get started with us here.

Joshua is responsible for Parcel Perform’s marketing efforts. He is passionate about technology, reading and continuous learning