Making the Most of Mobile Shopping: Where Should You Invest?

Making the Most of Mobile Shopping: Where Should You Invest?

2018 has confirmed that the rise of mobile shopping really is unstoppable. With consumers getting more and more comfortable shopping from their phones, it’s no exaggeration to say this channel is changing the face of eCommerce.

Mobile commerce more than doubled [since 2010], from 7% to 17%—and will likely soon surpass PC-based buying.

(PwC, Consumer Insights Survey 2018)

Catering to mobile shoppers is now a must for every retail business out there. But it’s not as simple as spend, spend, spend—achieving and tracking ROI from mobile requires a more sophisticated approach.

One Piece Of The Puzzle

It’s tough to understate the sheer scale of the growth opportunity that mobile eCommerce brings to the table. But it’s also just one piece of the puzzle: consumers don’t shop in silos, so retailers shouldn’t operate in them.

Simply pumping investment into mobile isn’t going to cut it.

Because while mobile usage is rising, conversions on the channel remain unimpressive—peaking at around half the conversion rate of desktop sessions in the UK last year (Smart Insights).

Some of that is down to users enjoying a better shopping experience on the more established desktop websites, sure. But there’s another story here…

“Improvements in mobile experiences over the past years haven’t impacted these figures, showing that smartphones are more popular as a device for browsing products, while desktop is preferred for transacting.”

*(Smart Insights)

“The reality is that online shoppers don’t expect to stick to mobile -or any single channel for their whole shopping experience”

That creates a headache for retailers expecting a simple ROI from mobile. Achieving and tracking the real returns from your mobile strategy means having the data systems and the operational set up in place to follow consumers across all the different channels they use.

Ultimately the rise of mobile makes providing a seamless customer experience across channels more important than ever. The retailers who invest in that ‘omnichannel’ approach to eCommerce are coming out on top in the new world of mobile shopping.

But of course, that doesn’t mean your business can’t make rapid improvements in your mobile operations…

1. Make Your Menus Simple

When even 32% of Digital Natives find mobile websites ‘aren’t easy to use’ (PwC), a simple and elegant user experience has to be your first priority.

Start with your menu displays.

Where a desktop user has the luxury of hovering to find out more, mobile users have to commit to a click—so make it crystal clear where each click will take them.

It’s why we recommend going through each item on your mobile menu, and asking “If I had never visited this site before, where would I expect to be taken if I clicked this option?”.

You can also cut clutter with the type of menu you display, explains our own Stephanie Fenton (SEO and Social Media Consultant).

“A great way to shorten menus without losing options is to add in a concertina menu so that the user can narrow down and get to the most relevant page.”

2. Minimise User Input

Filling out long forms on a mobile device is a serious chore, and it’s a huge cause of frustration among mobile shoppers. Make sure your website does the hard work, not your customers.

The fastest way to do that is integrating digital wallets and payment services. Thanks to the likes of PayPal and Apple Pay, consumers can dodge irritating data entry and hand over their cash in an instant.

“Making things as clear as possible for the user is at the heart of mobile optimisation” 

But sometimes there’s just no getting around it. Users will eventually need to fill in a form. 

In this case, add all the shortcuts you can—look to drop down menus rather than manual entry, real-time error messages that prevent them submitting an incorrect form, and always provide the correct input method, like a number pad for a required phone number. 

Making things as clear as possible for the user is at the heart of mobile optimisation. Just don’t get carried away…

3. Keep Your Options Open

There’s a common misconception in mobile design—that mobile shoppers are always in a manic rush to convert, and they need the minimum possible navigation options.

But like we saw, mobile shoppers aren’t always in a manic rush. Sometimes they’re more likely to be looking for a little research and inspiration from the sofa. (Take a look at your user behaviour in Google Analytics and find out).

Do make your mobile site clean and elegant, but don’t strip out the entire navigation! 

Keep the links to research-friendly content like blog posts, featured articles and product help pages so mobile shoppers have a reason to linger. It may not send mobile conversion rates through the roof, but it can make a massive difference to sales across channels.

Think ‘One Experience’

Mobile is critical to eCommerce success in 2018. Get it right with your optimisation, and your business is primed to enjoy huge lifts in revenue from the explosion in mobile shopping.

But just like any other channel, mobile is just that—one channel. It needs to be seen within the bigger picture of your operations and the customer experience you’re offering. Ultimately, tracking and achieving your true mobile ROI means taking an omnichannel approach.

Michael Simcoe
30 Jul 2018

Taking Advantage Of Google’s Mobile-First Index

Taking Advantage Of Google’s Mobile-First Index

Now that Google is finally going to start rolling out their mobile-first index it’s more important than ever to make sure your site is mobile-friendly.

All the hype in the industry press has caused panic amongst some, however, if you have a responsive site and are sticking to Google’s guidelines then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. That being said, this urgency has caused lots of retailers to up their game so if you don’t have mobile usability improvements on the roadmap for 2017 you could be in trouble!

To make sure that your customers are getting the best experience on a mobile as possible, and to prevent them from straying to your competitors, here are a few quick and easy design changes that we recommend you implement if you haven’t done so already…

Don’t Narrow Navigation Too Much – Provide Choice

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to mobile usage is that users are always on the go and always in a rush. In actual fact much of our time browsing on mobile takes place when we have time to kill such as when we are commuting or sat at home on the sofa. This isn’t to say that your pages don’t need to load quickly – having a fast website is extremely important. But users aren’t necessarily desperate to complete their goal as quickly as possible – they sometimes just want to do research or find inspiration. This is likely to be reflected in the user behaviour you see in Google Analytics. For many websites mobile will have overtaken desktop in terms of sessions but conversions are still likely to be behind on a mobile. It’s important that you are providing choice from your mobile homepage and internal navigation. Provide internal links to blog articles and help content from your homepage, make sure you are linking to other products from your product pages and add a block of related articles to the bottom of your blog posts. This additional navigation may not increase your mobile conversion rate but it should hopefully improve your profits as you’ll be providing a better experience for all stages of the buying cycle.

Improve The Text Input Experience

No one likes filling out forms so text input should always be minimised where possible with address lookups, search result predictions and additional payment methods such as Amazon Payments and Paypal. Sometimes there’s no getting around the fact that the user needs to fill out some of their details. To streamline the experience as much as possible make sure that you are doing the following;

  • Always provide the correct input method. If the field is for a telephone number make sure that the number pad is automatically brought up for them.
  • If you want the user to fill out a field where there are limited options such as county or card expiration month and year, provide a drop-down or toggle menu.
  • Provide real-time error messages if a customer enters their data in the incorrect format. This will prevent them from becoming frustrated if they submit the form and are returned to the previous page.
  • Display field placeholders and labels to provide the user with an indication of how their information should be entered. This will encourage them to enter it correctly the first time around.
  • At the checkout make it as clear as possible if the customer should be entering their delivery address or billing address. Adding a note such as “where your card is registered” or “where you want your order delivered to” can help to make this clearer for users. Adding a tick box directly below the billing address saying “delivery address same as billing” can also help.

Make Sure Calls To Action Stand Out

Because mobile screens offer limited space it’s important that all key calls to action are presented to users clearly and are easy to find. Google recommends making sure that these are front and centre where possible.

For calls to action on pages that are part of the sales funnel such as the product page, basket and checkout it’s a good idea to stick to a single design and choose a colour that stands out from the rest of your site.

You should also make sure that you are considering how users behave on a mobile. For example take the product page – on a desktop it’s likely that you can include all key content above the fold however on a mobile this can be tricky. The user may want to read the specification or reviews by which time they’ve scrolled way past the add to basket button. Therefore in this case it might be an idea to add multiple or a persistent add to basket button so that the user doesn’t need to scroll back to the top of the page after finding the information they were looking for.


Keep Any Menus Clear & Concise

Because of the limited space on a mobile it’s not always easy to get across the same information as on a desktop. Where a desktop user can hover over an option to get more information, the mobile user needs to commit to a click. For this reason you need to make it really clear to users where they’ll be taken if they click that option. We recommend going through each item on your mobile menu and asking “If I had never visited this site before, where would I expect to be taken if I clicked this option?”.

At the same time you need to make sure that your menus are as short and concise as possible – users don’t want to scroll through a huge list of options to find what they are looking for. A great way to shorten menus without losing options is to add in a concertina menu so that the user can narrow down and get to the most relevant page.

If you’re concerned about Google’s mobile-first index or if you’re just interested in providing a better experience for your users, talk to us today about how we can help.
Please call John or Chris on: +44(0)161 826 3090 or email us at:

Stephanie Fenton
16th January 2017