As the majority of organic internet searches currently occur from mobile devices, the push to design for mobile should be well-thought-out and indeed very necessary. With that in mind, e-commerce is one particular sector that is seeing the majority of its internet traffic via mobile devices. However, the way that an e-commerce site appears on desktop is drastically different than on mobile, and therefore there are some key elements that designers need to keep in mind.
Attracting and Maintaining Attention
It doesn’t matter how nice or visually appealing your mobile site is, if it doesn’t load fast enough or is not clear and efficient to navigate, then you will likely lose your audience. It is important, then, that in order to capture and maintain attention, your homepage should be designed to help your audience find what they are looking for. There are some basic design patterns for mobile that can be implemented here, including comprehensive layout and navigation elements.
It’s imperative to clearly and effectively display products and remove any distractions that will clutter up the page. Keep in mind, however, the type of audience that you are trying to engage. For example, if the audience is looking to compare products, then you want to optimize this content as much as possible. Keeping your target audience in mind throughout the whole design process is actually incredibly essential and will ensure that you end up with a platform that will not only keep their attention, but will also increase conversion.
Security is Key
Just as on desktop, it is crucial to maintain that element of security. Even more so when it comes to the payment process, as many shoppers are still uncomfortable giving out sensitive financial information over mobile. You need to display to your customers that your website complies with e-commerce security measures. The best way to do this is to incorporate security seals and badges into the websites design (such as Verisign, VISA and MasterCard logos) and be especially visible on the checkout page.
Offering alternative payment methods are also a good way to go with mobile, including an increasingly popular prepaid option in paysafecard, which uses a one-time PIN for transactions. This and many others are a good way to safeguard cart abandonment. The more payment options that you include, the more secure a shopper will feel, not to mention that being able to pay with their preferred method of payment makes for a satisfying shopping experience. There is nothing more frustrating than getting through the entire checkout process and discovering that you simply cannot pay for that purchase because they do not include your method of payment.
Securing the Sale
Conversion has been one of the biggest hurdles for mobile e-commerce sites, as statistically, shoppers convert less on mobile than on desktop. However, most of this is due to an ill-designed mobile checkout process. Where your shoppers turn from browsers into purchasing customers is at the checkout. It is obviously crucial, then, to design your checkout process with a few key characteristics, one being that it is as user-centered as possible. Even more so on mobile, the user-centered design is extremely significant.
It is also good practice to remind the shopper of the checkout while they are browsing the items in their carts. One way to do this is to design a pop-up window that shows the items in their cart and asks the shopper whether they would like to ‘check out now’ or ‘keep browsing,’ this is effective in helping the shopper keep in mind what they are already interested in buying.
Aside from limiting the number of steps for checkout, for mobile it is very important to limit the amount of fields. It is understandable that surveys and questions are key for engagement and growth, but due to the size of mobile screens and the smaller keypad, mobile is just not the optimal medium for extensive writing. Keep fields to basic shipping info and payment information; incorporating auto-fill is also helpful, so ask for zip code first, which can auto-fill details. If it is vital to your business, ask for feedback or survey info as a link embedded in the