The next time you’re in line at the grocery store, take a look around and see how many people are using their smartphones. You’d be surprised. From 2009 to 2013 there was an explosion of global smartphone penetration(5%-22%, almost 1.3 billion smartphones). One in five people now owns a smartphone. Tablet use is growing even faster.
Adapting to a mobile market is a must if you have a web-based business. According to eMarketer, mobile sales will contribute to more than a quarter of all e-commerce in 2016.
In a world where people want information in 140 characters or less, it’s important to have a business design that allows mobile users the speed and ease they’re looking for when shopping online.
Whether you’re a mobile veteran or just getting started, here are some tips for your mobile website that may prove to be helpful as you sell to this rapidly growing demographic.
40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. And that number is for PC users. For mobile, they expect the site to load even faster. What’s more, your speed affects your page ranking. The slower your page, the lower your score.
You don’t need your mobile website to be flashy and full of images. This will only cause your load time to increase. It will also make it difficult for your customers to navigate your site.
Rich content that may load quickly on regular websites often cause mobile sites to struggle. Manage a basic template for your mobile website, with your logo, pictures of your products, and simple color schemes.
Remember that people shopping on mobile devices are usually on the go. Make this process faster by only having what’s necessary on your mobile site.
People like social media. A lot. Nearly a third of all mobile use is centered around social media. Business Insider says that more than 90% of businesses use social media to reach their target audiences. You should, too.
Make your mobile site shareable. Add Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram buttons so your customers can stay connected with you. If you have a company blog, make it mobile friendly.
Have a video about your business you want to get out? Post it on YouTube. Not only is it free, but you’ll reach more people than conventional means.
The more your customers share about you, the more success you can expect.
Size it Right
Ever been on a mobile site and had troubles hitting a link because it was too small? Or maybe all the text and images were bunched together, making it nearly impossible to decipher anything. If your customers experience this on your website, they’ll end up finding another retailer.
Avoid this by having a mobile optimized website. This is different from a mobile friendly site as it does more than simply scale the website to a smaller size. Mobile optimized websites are created specifically to be viewed on mobile devices.
Amazon and eBay are good examples. You’ll notice that their main and mobile sites are very different from each other, but perfect for the device they are viewed on. Their mobile optimized website is a more bare-boned version of their main website. This is done to provide a fast and easy transaction for mobile shoppers.
Always have an accessible link to your main site for customers who prefer it.
Use Text Message Marketing
If you’re careful, using text messages can be a powerful marketing tool. According to research on Forbes’ website, 33% of mobile users prefer text notifications as compared to other means, and 46% prefer SMS deals as opposed to bar-codes and push message coupons.
Texts are simply faster and more accessible. This makes it easier for customers to see what new notifications you have. As long as you don’t spam your customers with messages, they’ll likely keep you as a contact.
Manage your texts effectively. Send out info on new deals and new items that your business is offering. If price or shipping dates change, don’t leave your customers in the dark. Always offer the option to opt out of text notifications, but don’t give your customers a reason to want to.
These are some great tips for how to optimize your mobile website, but don’t feel like they’re absolute. Everyone’s experience is different, and you might have found ways that work better for your particular business.
Regardless of how you run your site, keep in mind that 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, and over half of those lead to sales. Mobile sales is big, and it continues to grow. Make your business mobile friendly and don’t get left behind.