3 tips to help you win on mobile
Last week we gave a talk at Google’s Winning on Mobile event, about - well, winning on mobile. We talked about the 3 decisive factors when we talk browsing and shopping on a mobile device, and I’d like to share them with you.
That tech is moving fast is nothing new. It IS moving fast. But that statement doesn’t really lead you anywhere - it's hollow. So we thought that we’d fill in some of the voids, and we’ll start with a rather bold statement.
‘Responsive’ is no longer enough
Responsive is not exactly outdated - but it just doesn’t cover the necessary bases, if you’re looking for a successful mobile experience for your users. And when we talk about ecommerce, unsuccessful customer experiences usually doesn’t bode well for business. There’s a big fat ‘why’ lurking here - why is responsive no longer enough? We have a three-pronged answer to that, shaped in the form of 3 tips to help your business embrace the mobile users, and keep them coming back.
1. Context is king - more than ever
This actually touches upon 2 separate - and yet related - issues.
First is the use situation. It’s all about understanding – and then fine-tuning – in what context the user is using your service. Research phase, or buying phase? Or both? If it’s purely in the research phase or browsing, then I’m guessing conversions aren’t something you’re really worried about. But, if at any point you’re selling something, goods or services, then conversion is probably pretty much top-of-mind for you. In that case, the use situation, the context in which the user is using your service, is vital to understand. You should start focusing on when and where the mobile experience comes into play, and adjust accordingly. Are your customers browsing on the commute, are they sitting in the living room with several devices. Cracking that nut alone will enable you to effectively implement the rest of the tips we have here.
You should start focusing on when and where the mobile experience comes into play, and adjust accordingly.
Which leads me to user-friendliness. Keep in mind, context is still king. When designing for mobile devices think buttons, think design and layout that enhances what you’re trying to say, sell or achieve. Use easily understandable design principles - I’m not saying your site should be bland, and look like everything else, but your site SHOULD be easy to decode - preferably instantly.
2. Make conversion EASY
Or rather, make it as easy as possible. When push comes to shove, it’s about closing a deal, and since you’re not the master of whatever context your user is in, you should make sure the purchase-flow you’re putting the customer through is thought-out and smooth all the way through. We know from data that mobile traffic is increasing rapidly, but the mobile conversions aren’t - a symptom that purchase- and checkout-flows aren’t always as well executed as they could – or even should – be.
Use Mobilepay, or the like, and remove that possible pain point as an obstacle.
But, returning to the header, one definitive way of making buying on a mobile device easier, is integrating mobile payment solutions. Use Mobilepay, or the like, and remove that possible pain point as an obstacle. I’m not saying people are lazy, but if it comes down to choosing between a site that offers a mobile payment solution, and one that requires them to get up, and go get a credit card, I’d not be shy to put down a bet on which would win.
3. Prioritise site speed - seconds matter
In our recent blog post, Slow sites are killing your business, we looked at how short a window of opportunity you have, before people leave your site. If your site doesn’t load within 2-3 seconds, then the odds of people leaving the site goes up drastically. We’re an expectant lot, true, but since we can’t change that, we need to fiddle with the site speed.
If your site doesn’t load within 2-3 seconds, then the odds of people leaving the site goes up drastically
Over the past years, there have been a few interesting ideas introduced that can have quite an impact on your site’s speed. Progressive images, Throbbers, and Lazyload – which basically means only loading what is needed for the screen – all help reduce load time and increase site speed. There are more and more sites that use skeleton screens, which plays into the user’s perception, by showing a ‘blank’ version of the site, allowing it to load little by little, letting the user know that something is happening, instead of showing them a blank page that’s waiting for the all the content to load.
So… what now?
Returning to our bold statement at the beginning, that responsive is no longer enough, we’ve asserted that both the technology and mobile user-patterns have changed too much, to simply go on as we did just a few years ago – or rather, go on, as a lot of sites are today. These tips aren’t exactly quick-fixes, but they are essential to keep up with the competition.
But where to begin? If you’re feeling curious as to how your site is performing, Google has a tool just for that. Go to this link and type in your URL, and voila. That should give you a base overview of where to start, and if you need help moving forward from there, we’re here to help. So if your mobile website is running a little too slow for your, or your customers’, liking, don’t hold back - give us a call, or send us an email, and we’ll help you get back on track.