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How to Cash in on Mobile eCommerce: 10 Top Tips (Part One)

Guy Mucklow | Ecommerce

Avoiding mobile, for many e-tailers, is no longer an option. A recent report from the Centre for Retail Research predicts a 53% increase in mCommerce this year, generating over £4.5 billion in revenue.

For eCommerce merchants it’s no longer good enough to just have an eCommerce website. They need an eCommerce mobile site, too. But squeezing pages and pages of content into a tiny four-inch screen is by no means an easy challenge and as a result conversion rates on mobile sites are much lower.

We’ve come up with ten top tips based on our own experience of mobile eCommerce sites that will enhance customer experience and increase your conversions. Here’s the first five:

Simplicity reigns supreme

It’s imperative to keep in mind that your mobile shop needs to be particularly user-friendly. When using mobiles, people are on the go, travelling, or – dare I say it – at work, and are generally not surfing the web as much as they would on a desktop. Therefore your site needs to be as clear and intuitive as possible.

The mobile homepage should be stripped down to the very basics. Include breadcrumb links at the top of product pages, as well as category results. Since space is so limited on a phone, it’s a good idea to have no more than four main categories listed on each page. This will make it easier to use and quicker to navigate across a range of mobile devices.

Having the shopping cart and checkout accessible from every page makes it even easier for customers to complete that all important purchase.

Like father like son

It’s important that you keep your mobile site as similar to the parent site as possible so that it is easily recognisable. It’s important that certain universal components are positioned where users are expecting to find them. Customers gain crucial confidence from a website that follows the same design conventions. Customers will be familiar with the layout and features, helping to minimise any confusion. Consistencies in things like colour, font and button titles are therefore a must.

Searching made easy

An efficient on-site search engine is vital on every mobile site. Consumers do not have as much time to browse on mobile sites as they do on computers so you need to make sure that searching is made easy. Your search box needs to be big, clear and prominent on every page of your store.

A picture really is worth a thousand words

In a bricks and mortar shop a customer can pick up, try on and hold their gifts. Online, they obviously won’t have this luxury so it is up to you to provide this experience for them. Use photos of your products and go easy on the text. Users do not want to sift through pages of dense text on their mobile phone.

Fiddly business

Entering text on mobiles can also be a fiddly business. “I’m going to give up and go on the computer” is what we often hear from users faced with too many input fields. Look for ways to reduce the hassle of data entry whenever possible for example, storing details for when they next log-on, providing check boxes or using auto-complete software. Features like this will not only make your customer’s life that extra bit easier but yours and your delivery company’s too! Mobile data entry is prone to mistakes, and using these solutions you can ensure the data you capture is accurate at the point of entry.

Read part two next month…

About The Author

author

Guy Mucklow

Before founding Postcode Anywhere, Guy was finance director for the family property business, A&J Mucklow Group Plc, which he left to realise a lifelong dream of establishing his own company. Guy also spent ten years as a fund manager at Invesco Plc. Guy is a chartered financial analyst, chartered secretary and holds an MBA. A passionate follower of Worcester Rugby Club and sometime golfer, he is married with three children. You can connect with Guy on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Comments

India Rose says:

Great article, very helpful! I have a question….where do you think a small town boutique business fits in with this? I’m planning to open a brick and mortar party and gift store on Martha’s Vineyard Island….how should one go mobile with something like that? Thanks a lot!

Posted on: 20th April 2012 - 2:08 pm UTC Reply

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