A poorly optimized mobile website may be costing you more sales than you think. A recent study by Comscore showed that 4 out 5 smart phone owners use their devices to shop online. However, 44% also said they wouldn’t return to a site that wasn’t optimized for mobile. Optimizing a mobile site for sales and lead capture poses unique challenges. To help address these challenges, here are seven tips for creating a high converting mobile website:
1. Think About User Intent
The first question website owners should ask themselves is why people want to visit their mobile site. Is it to place an order? To find out more information about your products? Users have different intentions when they visit a mobile versus a traditional website.
For businesses with a physical store two of the most common reasons will be to either find the location or a phone number. Having the store location prominently featured can help to improve walk in traffic. Sales can also be improved if it is easier to talk to a representative from the business in person. Including “click to call” can significantly improve the chances that your prospective customer will make contact.
An example of a company that does this very well is Domino’s Pizza. On the homepage of the mobile site the user is given five simple options: create a new order, find a store, coupons, track an order and sign into their profile. Domino’s clearly understands what its customer wants to do and it makes it easy for them to do it.
2. Make Field Easier To Fill In
Providing email capture forms can have a significant effect on conversion rates. Hewlett Packard was able to increase their conversion rates by 186% by adding email capture forms. However on mobile devices getting accurate contact information can pose unique challenges.
Fields which are too small are difficult to use accurately and easy to miss. The solution is to use larger fields which are more widely spaced apart. This can increase the probability that contact and purchasing details will be correctly entered in.
3. Finger Friendly Buttons
Mobile users use their finger tips to navigate sites through their touch screens, often while on the go. Users should be presented with buttons that are large enough to be easily clicked and that are clearly visible to the human eye. In general all buttons should be 40 pixels or above for ease of use. Buttons critical to conversion goals such as buy now and click to call buttons should be particularly prominent.
4. Don’t Make People Type, They Won’t
Even for smart phone pros using a touch screen to type can be a painful experience. Requiring too much information to be touch typed can led to incomplete purchases and lost opportunities to gain contact details. Whenever possible you should use drop down menus and pre-populated forms as an alternative to users having to type in their own details.
5. Customize The Copy For Mobile
The web copy for a traditional website and mobile one will often need to differ. This is because of the difference in user intent. When someone visits a website on their laptop or desktop they are often looking for in depth information about that business. Detailed information about the company and its product offerings will help with educating the buyer, building trust and increasing long term sales.
When a person visits a mobile site they are typically either looking to make an immediate purchase or to find contact details. The web copy on a mobile site should support these goals. For example travel booking site Expedia features a prominent “Nearby Hotels Tonight” button above the mobile fold. This is perfectly suited to travelers looking to find accommodation immediately.
6. Branding Across Websites
While your mobile site will be a reduced version of your main website it is important that it retains the same branding elements. When a visitor comes to your mobile website it should be immediately apparent that they are in the right place. For new customers you want to ensure that they get the same branded experience they would if they visited your main website.
7. Making Use Of White Space
When optimizing for mobile sites you want to make sure that you make good use of the available white space. Because of the smaller screens businesses will often try and put in as much information on the screen as possible. This can make the screen harder to navigate and less visually appealing. Reducing the number of visual elements can also help to direct the user to specific calls to action such as “buy now” buttons.
While creating an optimized mobile site may seem challenging, it also offers great opportunities for businesses that take advantage of this new technology. The trend towards shopping over mobile devices will only increase in the future. Those businesses which invest in the design of their mobile sites will reap the rewards.