How to Optimize for Mobile ECommerce and Boost Sales

It’s projected that by 2025, mobile eCommerce sales will account for over 44%of all eCommerce retail sales. With all that purchasing power literally in the hands of your customers, your goal is to improve your mobile visibility and put your business on their radar.

In this guide to optimizing for mobile ecommerce you will learn

What is mobile web design?

That little device you hold in your hand isn’t just for texting or social media. It’s now the primary way to access the internet.

That makes the cellphone a critical tool for brands to interact with their customers.

As an eCommerce store owner, you know that having a strong online presence is vital.

You optimize for search engines, market your content, add high-quality images, and offer everything required to put your best foot forward in eCommerce business.

However, many of these steps are oriented around optimization for desktop. Optimizing for mobile is a whole different beast. To rise above your competitors, you need to dominate mobile.

Most importantly, mobile web design is responsive. No matter how big a screen is – from a phone to a watch to a tablet to a desktop – the site will fill the screen and present information in a clear way. What can appear slick and eye-catching on a desktop screen can seem bloated and confusing on a mobile screen. Starting points for mobile design are:

Key principles for web mobile design are:

Advantages and limitations of mobile responsive sites

Here are the pros and cons of using a single unified mobile responsive website.

ADVANTAGES
LIMITATIONS
User-experience friendly. Mobile responsive sites will work seamlessly and effortlessly on whatever device your prospect is using. Copy is crisp, legible and to the point, functionality is clearly signposted, and lightweight mobile-friendly pages create fast customer experiences.
Can slow downloading. Responsive done poorly can damage your site's performance and lead to irritated customers and abandoned shopping carts. Mobile sites often have the same sized or larger file sizes than their desktop equivalents.
Save money. Instead of building out different designs for mobile, iPad and desktop, a responsive design rids developers of the need for three different interfaces and just three sets of CSS.
Time-consuming development. Especially if you want to convert an existing desktop site to mobile. Better to follow a mobile-first path, if possible.
SEO friendly. Google rewards responsive design because no matter what page on which device, it's built on the same HTML and content.
Vertical orientation can be off-putting. Important website content stacked vertically can be pushed far down the screen. Users who dislike endless scrolling can wonder what the site is really offering to consumers.
Consistency. Your site maintains a single identity and pool of information across different devices. Social sharing links can be gathered through a single URL address too.
All your eggs in one basket. A single site with a responsive design means you’re forced to create a high-quality UX with just one platform. Will the functionality be as great across all screens? And if the internet goes down, a single unified site will go down no matter what device it's being viewed on.

Are you tapping into the benefits of mobile eCommerce? Here’s how to get it right and optimize for mobile conversions through your eCommerce store.

Is your eCommerce website mobile-friendly?

The answer is hardly ever simply ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Every eCommerce website is a little different (or, very different), so there are varying degrees of mobile-friendliness.

That’s why there are online tools to assess mobile-friendliness, often on a percentage scale.

Mobile Optimization for eCommerce

These tools consider:

Many of these factors overlap. For example, the design of your website will often influence navigation (UX) and how long it takes for elements to load. This all plays a role in how users interact with your site.

Considerations for eCommerce websites

As an eCommerce business, you have additional factors to consider. These include elements and images on product pages, what your checkout process is like, and how your website integrates with other applications.

The best way to tell if your website is mobile-friendly is to conduct a test of your website with a trusted online tool or get an audit from an SEO or web development professional.

If your website is loading slowly or customers are complaining about features on your site on mobile, these are clear indications that there is room for improvement.

How to optimize your eCommerce store for mobile

Mobile Commerce Optimization - eCommerce website

If your eCommerce website is falling short on any of the factors above, it’s time to optimize. Sometimes this involves minor tweaks to your website. Other times it involves an entire redesign. Your next move depends on the result of your mobile-friendliness test.

Here are mobile optimization best practices that can be applied across the board. And, if you are starting a new website, we recommend considering these from the very beginning.

1. Create responsive, eye-catching website design

Your eCommerce website may look great on desktop, but the mobile version may leave much to be desired.

If you visit your website on your cellphone or tablet and part of the design is cut off, doesn’t load properly, or makes it hard to click on certain elements, you will need opt for a more mobile-friendly design.

Some eCommerce platforms (such as Adobe Commerce, powered by Magento) have this built in. But, if that’s not the case for your platform, it’s best to work with a web designer.

2. Ensure user-friendly navigation

Your online store should not only look great but work perfectly. At the very least, users need to click on the important elements on your site such as the main menu, pages, posts and links.

Often, navigational features are limited by a mobile design. You may not have room to include all the tabs and pages that are included on the desktop of your site.

You should ensure that the most important pages on your site are easy to find, accessible, and clickable. This will encourage users to stay on the site longer.

3. Allow speedy website load times

There are few things more annoying (and conversion preventing) than a slow website.

If a user lands on your site and it takes too long to load, they will go elsewhere. Imagine the lost sales.

Your website should load in under three seconds, ideally less than two. This may not seem like much time at all, but even a second can make a huge difference. You can improve loading time by optimizing your images, reducing the amount of content on your site, using a caching plugin, and implementing the AMP protocols. These protocols ensure websites are consistently fast, beautiful, and high performing across all devices and platforms.

4. Institute intuitive checkout processes

Shopping Cart Software

Your goal is to move users along your sales funnel and get them to buy your products. Unfortunately, having a checkout process that is not optimized for mobile can slow things down.

eCommerce websites have unique capabilities that other websites do not. You can fulfill orders, process payments, and more. The steps for collecting information from customers should be as intuitive as possible.

Remember that mobile devices have much smaller screens than desktops. This means your content should be concise, your buttons bold and clear, and your forms/fields easy to fill out. If the page keeps reformatting or is too small for the user to fill out, they will likely give up and leave your site.

5. Show only optimized images and videos

Images and video on your site make your store more engaging and help users understand your products. They can also significantly affect website loading times. If your fancy files are too large, they may not load at all.

Your images should be clear and use the appropriate sizing for your design. You can work with a designer to optimize your image sizes for mobile.

eCommerce videos should be the right size to be fully viewed on mobile and should not auto-play. The less invasive your website content, the better.

6. Eliminate invasive pop-ups and ads

Have you ever visited a website just to be bombarded with pop-ups, opt-ins, and “special offers”? Annoying, right?

Your potential customers think so too.

For this reason, Google is cracking down on websites with invasive pop-ups and ads. If these features create a bad experience for users, Google is less likely to show your commerce website in the search results.

While it’s a great idea to try and grow your email list and present customers with your latest deals, on mobile, less is more.

7. Reduce heavy content

High-quality content is important for SEO and for staying consistent with your brand messaging. It’s also necessary for encouraging users to learn more about your products and business.

However, too much can really bog down your site – especially if it’s hard for users to view it on mobile.

Open your website on your mobile device and check that none of the content is cut off. Also think about your reading experience.

Fixing these issues will make a huge difference.

8. Optimize for mobile on social media and email

Most Twitter and Facebook users access these services from a mobile. So ensure social media posts are linked to optimized pages to keep prospects free from frustration. It's the same with email now, with as much as 78% of consumers using their smartphones all or some of the time to sort emails before viewing on a computer.

If your emails are not optimized for mobile they will most likely be ignored or, even worse, deleted and never seen by potential customers.

9. Avoid scrolling and autofill fatigue

The majority of visitors to your site via mobile will be using their thumb to navigate the site. So calls to action should appear in the bottom half of their screen. Allow users to scan information about your products with standard components for site layout such as a sidebar and implement a sticky menu that doesn't disappear.

And improve autofill by preventing customers from having to enter reams of information. For example, adopt one-tap sign-in functionality and Google Pay and Apple Pay.

10. Add life to your products

How can you ensure prospective customers, looking at your product on the go, on a small screen, will make that final purchase? Or at least add your goods to their shopping cart for purchase later? Explore investing in high-quality images, video, 3D, enlargement and augmented reality.

And let them have the facts upfront – if you are transparent with shipping costs, taxes and stock availability, customers won't have unwelcome surprises in their carts.

Increase commerce conversions on mobile

Customers are using mobile devices to find goods and brands online, no matter where they are. As an eCommerce brand, this gives you the opportunity to take advantage of mobile SEO and attract more users to your website.

If you’ve been sleeping on mobile optimization, now is the time to wake up and get ahead of the game. With so many potential customers looking for products like yours on mobile, you can’t afford not to get a piece of that pie.

Mobile Commerce Optimization for websites

You should ask yourself:

Mobile optimization for Commerce is about considering the user’s experience and making it as easy as possible for them to find what they are looking for. You don’t want any design or functionality issues to get in the way of you making a sale.

Take advantage of the power of mobile for Commerce by optimizing your website.

Try Adobe Commerce, powered by Magento, for mobile commerce

Mobile optimization is made easy with Adobe Commerce.

Skip the DIY route of making your website mobile-friendly and turn to an eCommerce platform that gets it right from the get-go.

If you want to create a better experience for your customers, attract traffic, and get more sales, then Adobe Commerce for Mobile may be the right fit for you.

Get Started with Adobe Commerce here

Frequently asked questions about optimizing for mobile ecommerce

How do you know if a website is optimized on your phone?

Go to the Google site Is your website mobile-friendly here. Paste your URL into the space show and click "Test URL". Bring up your website in a browser and shrink it as far as it will go -- do all the elements resize proportionally? If not, you might need to revisit your site design.

What is the difference between SEO and mobile optimization?

The biggest difference between SEO on mobile and desktop is geographical location. Many mobile searches are based on where the user is at the time – where is a great restaurant near me? Where is the nearest place I can pick up a new dress? If you aren't looking after mobile SEO, you're not looking after your SEO period. Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, so you'll be badly ranked if you don't pay attention.

Should I create a mobile app?

Mobile users spend 88% of their time in apps rather than mobile sites, so they are worth considering. Apps store information locally and can be used offline, as opposed to websites, which mostly use servers. They offer better personalization and targeted notifications, and designers are permitted a freer rein in creating innovative functionality.

Adobe Commerce for Mobilemakes this process even easier for eCommerce businesses. Mobile-friendly checkout, responsive themes, progressive web applications, and more are all built into the platform. No need to wrestle with complicated code or optimization tools.