Seamless, multichannel shopping is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s an expectation. Shoppers flit from tablet to desktop to smartphone, rarely completing a purchase where their shopping journey began. Connecting shoppers across all devices and providing a positive user experience is therefore essential to securing a sale and ensuring customers aren’t put off by poor usability or slow systems.

In order to optimise the mobile shopping experience, retailers can simplify the mobile store with five small steps:

  1. Say goodbye to ‘one size fits all’
What already applies to the Internet is even more important for mobile-optimised shops: get to the point. Mobile shoppers, in particular, want quick answers to their questions about products without the need to scroll through mile-long texts. If content information is absolutely necessary, only display the full text following interaction with the visitor (e.g. after a click).
  1. Make channel hopping seamless
No matter how good an independent mobile online shop is, there are always users who are looking for information that is not shown on the mobile product page. Also consider users who cannot navigate the mobile store because of different categorisation that varies across channels. By integrating a link to the ‘normal’ desktop version retailers can offer users greater freedom of choice and a better customer user experience.
  1. Rule out conversion killers
Online shops can’t function without forms. Whether it’s newsletter subscriptions, user registrations or searches; forms are everywhere. However poorly formatted forms are conversion killers, particularly when shopping on a smartphone or tablet. Reduce abandoned purchases and help customers to complete form by only asking for information that is absolutely necessary. By making use of the possibilities offered by software keyboards on smartphones and HTML5, retailers can easily enable the smartphone to display the email address keyboard layout and the numerical keypad for a telephone or house number.
  1. Optimise loading times
Customers are impatient, and time-poor. By minimising stylesheets and JavaScript files and using a compression tool, retailers can reduce the size of files for images without losing quality. A test with the homepage of randomly selected online stores revealed potential savings of between 55 and 70 per cent.
  1. Secure repeat customers with home screen icons
Online shops thrive on repeat custom. So that keen online shoppers return integrate symbols for the home screen so that customers are one click away at all times. iOS, Android and Windows Mobile all make it possible to save websites as favourites on the home screen. Using simple online generators, HTML code can be generated in a matter of minutes.

By Alex Legge, mobile commerce expert at Trusted Shops.