Tips for creating a next generation mobile-ready ecommerce website

On December 29, 2013

mobileThe mobile industry has seen exponential growth over the past few years. In fact, mobile traffic now represents 13 percent of all Internet traffic, according to an article by Forbes. This number is expected to grow, especially with the number of American consumers switching from traditional laptops and computers to mobile phones, tablets, and e-reading devices. As an ecommerce website owner, you have to impress these next generation mobile shoppers with a mobile-ready website that accommodates their needs.

Why Go Mobile?

Mobile is becoming the fastest-growing platform and the number of consumers using mobile devices is growing rapidly each year. According to Pew Research Center, almost a third of Americans use tablets — which is two percent higher than it was three years ago. As of right now there are about 1 billion smartphone users and that number is expected to grow as more cellphone companies phase out traditional mobile phones and only offer smartphone devices. The amount of mobile traffic on the web is expected to overtake traditional PC traffic within the next few years; therefore, an ecommerce site that isn’t mobile-ready won’t go far.

Having a mobile-ready ecommerce website is a must. When you offer customers the ability to shop while they’re out anywhere and on any device, you are no longer limited to the customers who are at home in front of a computer screen. Customers can see a product of yours on the street and instantly buy it — which means no risk of them forgetting to purchase later. Even though PC traffic still dominates ecommerce, it’s important you have mobile options to catch those next generation shoppers.

Use a More App-Like User Experience

Mobile apps offer users functionality and speed. Your mobile ecommerce site should have an app-like experience that gives users functionality even though they’re on a mobile device. Sliding menus are a prominent feature of app-like mobile sites — making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. Checkout should also be easy, with quick-access buttons.

Include Zooming and High-Quality Image Galleries

As an ecommerce store, you rely on product images to sell themselves. A mobile screen is smaller than your average computer screen; therefore, you need product photos to still standout even when they’re a tenth of the size. Your template should offer a zoom feature that allows the user to hone in on details of the product. If a user has to wait until they get in front of a standard website to review your products, it’s unlikely they will do so.

Add Location Detection Features

A mobile-ready site can feature geo-location services. These track where your mobile user is shopping from and can help calculate shipping, provide them with products relevant to their area, etc. If you have a local storefront in addition to your online ecommerce store, having auto-detect location features can help drive traffic to your local store as well. You can also add inventory check features — letting customers know if a product is in stock at their local store versus online.

Integrate Social Media

Social media sends high volume mobile traffic on a daily basis. By integrating social media into your ecommerce store, you can engage with your customers better. Consumers are more likely to share your products and guides on social media via their mobile device than the web. Look for an ecommerce mobile website template that has social media integration capabilities so that you can link with your social network profiles instantly.