If you think you can wait to optimize your website for mobile use, think again. Optimizing your website for smartphone use has immediate and hefty payoffs, a new report says. That means retailers without mobile-optimized sites are likely to fall rapidly behind.
The research, reported in Internet Retailer, tracked more than 180 million shopping sessions on 53 retail websites. Some of the websites were optimized for smartphones, either as responsive design sites or m-commerce sites; others were not. Mobile shoppers on smartphone-optimized sites converted at a rate 160 percent higher than those on sites not optimized for smartphones.
Not only does mobile optimization boost conversion rates, but it also increases the average order amount. When smartphone shoppers buy on non-optimized websites, they spend an average of just 70 percent of the average PC-based order. However, when they shop on smartphone-optimized websites, they actually spend a little more (102 percent) than the average PC order.
Ecommerce sales via smartphone are growing overall. The smartphone conversion rate for all of the websites in the study (including the non-optimized ones) rose 1.42 percent in Q2 2013 to 2.02 percent in Q2 2014. But clearly, optimizing your ecommerce site for smartphones can have a significantly bigger effect on your sales and profits.
Converting smartphone shoppers is all about immediacy, the study notes. Consumers might want to buy something, find it on their phones—but if they can’t easily buy it on their phones, there’s a high possibility they’ll forget all about it, or lose the desire for it, by the time they’re near their PC again. If you can make the purchasing experience as simple as possible, however, so shoppers can check out on their phones right as the mood strikes, you can take advantage of that impulse and seal the deal.
In the coming year, the study predicts, increasing adoption of one-touch payment systems such as Apple Pay will make consumers even more comfortable using their phones as shopping tools—making it even more important to have your ecommerce site optimized for smartphone use.
Last, but not least, as you create your SEO or online advertising strategy, consider the difference between how desktop searchers type and how mobile phone users type. The study notes that people doing searches on phones are more likely to misspell words, use abbreviations or use acronyms. Adjust your keywords accordingly to capture these mobile shoppers—and make sure your website is mobile-optimized to convert them to buyers.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.