In Q4 2017, 24% of all ecommerce sales stemmed from mobile devices, but that percentage is likely to grow. Why? According to a report from Verto Analytics, 35% of online shoppers now prefer to shop only on smartphones or tablets. Moreover, they use their mobiles to shop all day long.
Now more than ever it’s critical to ensure your ecommerce site is optimized to take advantage of the consumer’s enthusiasm for mobile shopping. Broadly speaking, there are two barriers that get in the way of mobile conversions: data entry burdens and product discovery challenges.
We’ve worked with numerous ecommerce sites spanning a range of consumer segments to to overcome these challenges. In our experience, these six tactics will go a long way towards helping you increase your mobile conversions. Each of tactics will deliver results, but when taken together, will make more of a significant impact.
#1: Make mobile payment options available
Consumers don’t like entering their payment information on their mobile devices, especially when they’re out and about in public places. Mobile payment options, such as PayPal One Touch, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay are moving the dial for ecommerce sites by allowing the consumers to complete a purchase with the touch of a button straight from the product details page. All of these services offer an “always logged-in” experience, for maximum convenience to the consumer. In fact, it’s fair to say PayPal One Touch and Apple Pay are now table stakes.
Implementing a mobile payment option on your site is relatively straightforward. PayPal One Touch is supported by both Magento and Shopify.
Amazon Pay, in addition to offering a true, always-logged-in experience, offers a more robust ecosystem for sellers.
#2: Support social sign-on
Data entry requirements in the mobile checkout process can be quite onerous for consumers. Mobile payment options mentioned above eliminate some of this burden, but can introduce new complications.
Specifically, placing turnkey payment options on product details pages means the consumer is immediately taken to the checkout process, preventing further browsing or product discovery and resulting in lower average order values (AOVs). Some ecommerce managers opt to conceal these mobile payment options until the consumer arrives at the payment section of the checkout process, but that can lead to avoidable cart abandonments.
If product discovery is a goal, supporting social sign-ons is a good strategy. Social sign-ons inform the customer upfront that they will be spared the burden of entering a lot of address and payment details, yet still promotes browsing and product discovery.
Social sign ons allow consumers to access websites using their existing social account IDs – such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. In our experience, ones in highest demand at the moment are Google (gmail), followed by Facebook.
#3: Deploy auto-fill technology
There are plenty of consumers who choose not to use social sign on, or a mobile payment option. Fortunately you still have the ability to convert by helping them to prefill some information. Google and other third-party services, such as Addressy, provide address auto-completion in all countries in which a sizeable number of consumers shop online.
Here’s how it works: when consumers begin to enter their address, these services use the first few keystrokes and device location data to suggest relevant addresses near the consumer, which can help them complete address information.
Or you can deploy a one-page checkout that supports the Google Maps API, which has auto-completion built into the app. There is Google Maps plug-in for Magento; Shopify links to Google Maps by default.
#4: Support social engagement
Mobile shoppers who visit a site are typically motivated to purchase a product. They’ve seen something that’s captured their attention, and are on a mission to buy it. This is an important and interesting trend we see more and more: Customers who are willing to make purchases upon first visit to a site because they’ve been inspired through some other channel, almost always social.
We work with a lot of brands, particularly in fashion and footwear, that report a lot of high-converting traffic from Instagram. For all intents and purposes, these customers appear as first-time visitors, but in truth, they’ve been engaged with the brands on social for a long time.
For this reason we’ve found it quite beneficial to invest in social channels, such as subscribing to Instagram for Business, as well as developing shoppable stories and posts that highlight specific products with direct links to the product detail page on your website.
If you deploy this strategy (and we think that you should), take care that your website reinforces the social experience. In other words, ensure that the images consumers see on your social posts appear on your website, either in a product gallery or carousel that’s featured on the product page. This tells the customers that they’ve found the same products or brands that caught their attention in a social channel.
There’s an interesting product to keep your eye on: it’s called Curalate. It offers a “shop the look” feature, and makes product recommendations that are very Instagram-like.
#5: Prioritize Search/Use Search to Enhance Your Product Descriptions
Many ecommerce sites opt to downplay search on their mobile sites in order to make more screen real estate available to highlight products. While understandable, it’s an approach that can frustrate consumers and lose sales. We’ve found that drawing additional attention to search — and making it easy to use — pays lots of dividends.
Here’s why: Onsite search is the only place where customers tell you in plain English what they’re looking for. Moreover, as noted earlier, consumers visit mobile sites because they are motivated to make a purchase, and are frustrated if a search feature isn’t available to help them find it. It’s hard to browse categories on an iPhone, so search is the first place consumers look. When we’ve drawn additional attention to a customer’s onsite search, we’ve seen as much as 20% improvement in conversions.
Google Search Console lets you see all of the search terms used on your site, and if you set up Google Analytics the right way, you can segregate the ones entered via mobile devices. It’s well worth your time to do so. Search terms entered into mobile devices are surprisingly lengthy and detailed, which is counterintuitive. But the truth is, natural language is used more on mobile devices more than any other platform. Why? People rely on voice typing, which makes it easy for consumers to search on, say “red long-sleeve tee shirt with elephant image on the front.”
This trend is so significant that we now recommend all ecommerce managers mine their search console for data to incorporate into their product descriptions.
#6: Develop an Amazon Strategy
The last tactic isn’t related to your mobile website, per se, but it is relevant to the way in which people now shop. The fact is, in 2017, 4% of all retail transactions — online and off — occured on Amazon. And the e-tailer accounted for 53% of all online sales. It’s hard to get around the fact that Amazon plays a role in all online shopping experiences.
In fact, Amazon, not Google, is the first step in the purchasing funnel. When a consumer wants to purchase a particular item, he or she begins on Amazon, and if your brand isn’t on that site, you no longer have a seat at the table. This is why it’s imperative that you develop an Amazon strategy that allows you to stay relevant with the consumer.
You don’t need to offer your entire catalog on Amazon; a select number will do to ensure your brand shows up when consumers searches for it on the Amazon mobile app.
Keep in mind that all consumers have been trained to understand what Amazon is. If they search for your brand on Amazon and come up empty handed, they’ll certainly see your competitor and you will likely lose the sale. Conversely, if they find your brand but see a very shallow product catalog, they’ll immediately conclude that your offering is bigger and will seek out your website or search for your products elsewhere on the web.
In conclusion, there are many ways to increase conversions from your mobile traffic but combine them and the impact can be significant. If you have questions about mobile traffic to your site be sure to reach out to SD.