Give Your Mobile Site a Chance!

It should come as no shock that Mobile Commerce, or m-commerce, is a fast growing phenomenon.

What may shock you is that in a study looking at spend at Christmas 2014, m-commerce accounted for almost 37% of all online retail sales! Retail companies these days are embracing the mobile channel as the future for sales. Those that do not catch up risk being left behind (waaaaay behind) in the race to secure the hard-earned pounds in our pockets.

Not everyone is getting the strategy right, however. Many are missing the trick and are losing customers at vital points in the user journey and mobile sales process.

We here at i3 Digital like to be ahead of the curve and keep a close eye on mobile user experience developments. Here is a list of the main user pet-hates and mistakes that companies make when designing their mobile sites, and why users drop off sites at crucial points. The main gear-grinders are:

  1. Mobile sites that don’t allow you to view the desktop site – there ought to always be the option to access the main site from your mobile site. Your mobile site will rarely contain all the features of the desktop version – keep the user in mind!
  2. Sites that return users to the Desktop site without a bye or leave – often users get bounced back to the Desktop site from the mobile site without being informed – come on guys!!
  3. Pop-ups – Who likes Pop-ups? They irritate me enough on desktop sites never mind appearing on my iPhone screen – at any time of the purchasing process online!
  4. Payment options – Not everyone wants to use a credit/debit card OR input the 16 digit number onto a tiny screen. Until better options arrive, companies are best offering alternative payment providers such as PayPal.
  5. Videos that won’t play *head-butts smartphone* – nothing more annoying than this and is a sure fire way of users dropping off your mobile site.
  6. Missing features – The tendency still exists for companies to provide a ‘Diet’ version of their desktop site for the mobile version. This means that users are missing out on many features available on the desktop site – Let’s get creative as to how we can address this!
  7. Links – These ought to be easily clickable with plenty of space between to avoid the wrong link being selected.
  8. No mobile site at all – awful, awful, awful and no excuse in 2015! We do not want to have to pinch and zoom!
  9. Pages that are slow to load – page load speed is everything for consumers when purchasing via their smartphone/tablet device. Not always the companies fault, they can’t do much about connection, however they can concentrate on mitigating unnecessary images or content which can add to the time it takes for a page to load.
  10. Make it easy for the user to find you via a clearly labelled Map. If you use pins to locate your premises, make sure they contain relevant content when clicked on.
  11. Errors – you ought to know if your mobile site is full of errors. If so, address the problem. You are affecting your online sales by ignoring the issue.
  12. Pushing your new app into users faces on a mobile site – not a good idea. I appreciate you wish to let customers know you have a shiny new app, however, best to subtly direct users to it on your site (or if they have need of one, they may well go looking for it in the marketplace).
  13. Check that your links or redirects actually work – you risk losing customers if your redirect brings them to somewhere they’re not interested in.
  14. Having to click several times on a Menu or Done button for it to close – aggravating!
  15. Poorly thought-out checkouts – look at Analytics funnels and many will highlight the same story of potential customers dropping off at checkout page, simply because it’s designed poorly, or bounces users back to the Desktop site.
  16. When providing information, consider the tone, content and message that will suit a user reading it on a smartphone screen. They are often slightly different to a desk-top reader.
  17. Click-to-call is great when it works and is a superb call to action. It removes the huge frustrations of hunting around a site for contact details.
  18. If you’re like me, you use your smartphone all the time to check out places to go or restaurants to eat in. In fact, records show that consumers are twice as likely to use mobile rather than desktop to view a food menu…take note, restaurants! Oh and another thing, please don’t present your menu in PDF form – it takes far too long to load and is a nightmare to read!

In summary, if you haven’t got a mobile site, you really need to consider getting one. Before you develop your mobile strategy, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and provide solutions that face them. Ask yourself what annoys you when you go to view a site on your smartphone. After all, you aren’t any different from your customers.

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