How to improve your ecommerce conversion rate on mobile

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Mobile is big money in this day and age of internet browsing and ecommerce.

With the average adult consumer in the UK spending over 66 hours browsing the internet using their mobile each month (source), it’s absolutely vital that your ecommerce store provides a flawless experience on mobile, if you want to increase those conversion rates and really move the needle.

This table below from Monetate shows the conversion rates of online shoppers by device in each quarter of 2016.


Conversion rates of online shoppers by device and platform Q4 2016

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As you can see, mobile conversion rates are significantly lower than desktop – 1.55% in Q4 of last year on mobile, compared to 4.14% on desktop in the same quarter.

From this we can conclude that right now there’s a big opportunity to grab more sales from mobile users, if you ensure your website provides a fantastic user experience to customers using those devices.

So, how can you do that?

Let’s take a look at eight simple things you can do to ensure you get as many conversions as possible on mobile.


1) Simplify your checkout process

A complicated, multi-step checkout process is a sure-fire way to kill conversions.

On mobile, users are looking for speed. If they’ve come this far and are happy to purchase using their mobile, your checkout process ideally needs to be a single page one step process.

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This level of simplicity means your customers can quickly complete the checkout process in one easy step and carry on with their day.

If your checkout really does require multiple steps, then make it obvious where the user is in the process by showing some kind of “progress graphic” at the top of the checkout page.

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TIP: Have you ever submitted a long checkout form on mobile to find that there are errors? If so, I bet you usually find yourself scrolling up and down the form looking for the mistakes to correct, which is frustrating right?. Well, you can eliminate this frustration for your users with inline validation. Inline validation makes it clear that there is an error by displaying an error icon, or colouring the form field red on the fly, without the user having to submit the checkout form and then scroll back up the form to find out that there are errors. Problem solved!

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2) Have a great suggestive search and search results page

One of the reasons Amazon is soooo successful and people on mobile find it ridiculously easy to buy (it’s frightening easy!) is it’s suggestive search.

Start typing in Amazon’s search box and it makes suggestions, allowing you to explore alternatives you might not have thought of quickly and easily.

Amazon’s search results page is also extremely well designed, showing you a clear product image, the product title, reviews and price information. It also lets you filter easily from the results page too, which makes it really easy to find the perfect product.

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Search is generally the quickest way for users to find what they’re looking for, so your search on mobile needs to be tip top.


3) Optimise for speed

A really obvious one, but too important not to go unmentioned.

On mobile your ecommerce site needs to be lightning quick to encourage people to engage with it.

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If you haven’t optimised the speed of your site yet, contact your web designer and get them to perform some tests. There are a number of good tools freely available (Google PageSpeed and Pingdom Tools) that will give great insights into the items that can be tweaked to claw back a half second or a full second here and there on your ecommerce site.


4) Position your interactive elements on the right

By “interactive elements” I mean buttons, calls to action, navigation. Anything you’re expecting the user to tap on.

Most people hold their phone in their right hand when they browse the internet, so you need to ensure that the elements you want them to tap on in your ecommerce store are in easy reach with their thumbs range of motion.

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TIP: At Authentic Style we’ve even taken this idea a step further by implementing navigation at the bottom of websites on mobile devices and positioning menu icons bottom right too.

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5) Don’t waste your product descriptions

We see far too many ecommerce businesses waste the space they have available for short and long product descriptions.

Businesses that sell on Etsy understand how precisely the platform utilises its space for displaying as many details about the product as possible. You can follow the same practice for displaying product descriptions on your eCommerce store.

You need to provide both a short AND a long description to satisfy both types of users who are happy to purchase just reading a short general overview, versus those who want to know all the in’s and out’s of that particular product

Don’t just repeat canned descriptions from your supplier’s website though. Add your own personal touch and inject some of your brands tone of voice and personality.

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Done well these descriptions can massively increase conversion.

TIP: Make sure you repeat your “Add to Basket” buttons further down on your product pages too. No one wants to scroll down to read more detail, be convinced to buy, and then have to scroll back up through realms of content to add the product to their basket.


6) Make taking payments super-easy

Once you’ve got your customers to the checkout, why make it difficult for them to buy by having them input all their payment / card details again?

Implement PayPal as a payment option as people are familiar with this, and on mobile it makes it nice and quick for a user to complete their payment by just logging into their PayPal account.

Apple Pay is also hugely increasing in popularity, so it’s a great idea to implement this as an accepted payment method too.

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All it requires is finger print confirmation from the user and bingo, they’ve made their purchase!


7) Include videos of your products rather than images

This one isn’t always possible, but if you have the budget, I would highly recommend getting videos shot of your products and getting those added to your ecommerce store.

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Users browsing on mobile are far more likely to watch a quick 1 minute video (even 30secs is fine) demonstrating your product, rather than have to cycle through four or five different product images.

Product images also generally appear small on mobile devices (even when zoomed in), compared to video, which can be totally immersive on a mobile device. If your customer is at home watching the video, they might even cast it to their TV using a Chromecast device.


8) Utilise cart abandonment

If all else fails and the user doesn’t convert and does abandon their cart, make sure you have cart abandonment in place.

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Because people use mobile on the go and it’s more convenient, you never know if the user got distracted by the washing machine finishing its cycle, something burning in the oven, or if their bus arrived and consequently they forgot to buy.

So if you have a series of gentle email reminders encouraging them to complete their order you can salvage otherwise lost sales.


The best way to improve ecommerce conversion rates on mobile?

Increasing conversions on mobile is all about making your user’s life easier, and providing credibility and trust. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s essential to not only have a mobile-friendly website but also to continuously improve it using the latest tools to optimise your ecommerce site for better performance and user experience.

If you’re in the position of considering a redesign of your ecommerce store, mobile needs to be a key consideration.

Mobile internet usage is only going to increase as phones become better and much more convenient than desktop or laptop computers to use – so spending time optimising your site for mobile is critical if you really want to ramp up your sales.


Would you like a better conversion rate on your mobile ecommerce store?

If you’d like to discuss optimising your ecommerce store for mobile, please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help you analyse its performance. We can even split test changes to scientifically measure whether they had an impact on conversion.

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