Having a mobile-optimized website is unavoidable. With 58% of adults in America1 owning a smartphone and spending an increasing amount of time on them, the opportunities for brands to increase sales through this medium are growing rapidly.
For business owners and web designers alike, understanding the kind of sales increases that have been experienced by brands through the use of mobile web design, and the specific design decisions that lead to them, will help you construct and inform your mobile strategy.
The Over-Arching Principles
By removing barriers and making transactions as painless as possible, you can personalize the mobile experience and help users progress through their path to purchase.
Dominos Pizza personalized its mobile experience through remembering customer payment details, which contributed to a 20% increase in sales through its mobile channel2. Now, over 60% of orders are placed on mobile devices2 and the digital nature of the channel helps track specific ROI as a result.
2. Use User’s Urgency
Mobile browsers are goal-oriented3, which means that they’re often in a position to make a purchase right there and then. So the opportunity to increase sales on mobile devices is certainly there if you make it easy to do.
On smartphones, the user’s defenses, guards and natural shields are down, so there’s an opportunity to increase cross sales as well, if you can make a relevant and related offer appealing enough.
Don’t make users log in before they can browse3, or worse, before they can make a purchase4. Placing restrictions on the browsing experience, especially if you’re a lesser-known brand, can cause apprehension and discourage users from continuing.
4. No Pinching
Don’t make users have to pinch and zoom and rotate their device when navigating. Making users adjust their natural browsing behavior to navigate around your site leads to frustrations that are likely to lead to abandonment3.
Mobile sites should be responsive and fit the screen the user is using. Through utilizing Responsive Web Design (or RWD), many brands have seen a direct increase in conversions5 with some experiencing an up to 54% increase in sales6.
Practical Design Tips
As well as these over-arching principles, there are also some specific design nuances that can also lead to an increase in mobile sales.
1. Infinite Scroll
People behave differently on mobile devices. For example, users tend to keep scrolling until they find something useful, hence the infinite scroll on sites like Twitter and Facebook where engagement is key. Recognizing this, the Huffington Post incorporated an infinite scroll on their mobile site, and increased the average time spent on the website by 50%7. The more time users spend on your site, the more opportunities you have to persuade them to make a purchase.
2. Call-to-Action (CTA) Front and Center
With users behaving with more urgency on mobile, they’re less patient. They have momentum. By putting your CTA front and center on the Home page8, you can keep that momentum going and lead users to their desired place as smoothly as possible.
Using at least finger-sized buttons that are easy to click will help here because if your ‘touch targets’ are too small, people can make mistakes and click the wrong thing9, all of which will lead to further frustrations and drop outs.
3. Intuitive Forms
Make mobile forms easy to fill out by incorporating auto-advance, so that users are moved to the next field in the form automatically, which reduces friction3. Also, make sure you show users the correct keypad in line with the type of field they’re completing10. For example, show the numbered keypad11 when requesting numbers and email keyboard12 when asking for email addresses. This strips away tension and allows the user to progress without thinking too hard and without needless barriers.
Taking Mobile Seriously
The difficulties users feel using desktop sites on mobile devices is similar to those experienced by people with disabilities13, so careful attention has to be given to specific nuances when designing websites for mobile devices. And given the amount of traffic and revenue potential on mobile devices currently, let alone the potential for the future, the attention and investment required may not only be worth it, but before long it’ll be unavoidable.
If you’re looking for a future-proof mobile responsive website that’ll capitalize on the above and meet the needs of your mobile customers, connect with us for a chat about how we can help.