Mobile First: The Design Strategy That Boosts Conversion

The fact that a lot of online shoppers use their mobile devices to browse and purchase is not new. You’re well aware of this, which is why it’s essential for you to design a mobile-ready site that would still provide a good user experience and encourage visitors to buy from your e-store.

In e-commerce, design is a huge part of your content. It matters a lot, especially the photos or images of the products that you use.  Research says that the conversion rate on mobile is much lower not only  because of the design, but how people actually use mobile devices. Hence, you must pay attention to that and do something about it.

Mobile First VS. Mobile Responsive

Often the terms “mobile first” and “mobile responsive” are interchanged. It’s important to note that even though both are related to the design of a website, they are certainly not one and the same.

The “mobile first” approach minimizes elements for easier and faster navigation. It focuses on the use of just the essentials and makes use of smaller file sizes too. What’s more, a lot of e-commerce store owners are now modifying their product shots to enable site visitors to see the crucial information on the visual content instead of just relying on the text.

Meanwhile, “mobile responsive” means all the elements of the website are still there but they are simply adjusted to fit a mobile device’s screen. The file sizes are still the same but they are pinched down to suit the screen size. The same buttons, menus, and other functionalities are still present but just rearranged.

Why the Mobile First Strategy Boosts Conversion

Conversion is greatly important for e-commerce site owners. This is the actual business brought in, not mere traffic. Hence, business owners and marketers are always thinking of ways on how to boost the rate of visitors converting to actual customers.

Now let’s say half of your potential consumers visit your website through their mobile phones. What if your product images don’t load? Or what if the elements on your page get all jumbled up? Then many of these prospective customers may get turned off or lose interest. It’s easy to jump to other websites or other shops online, after all.

The “mobile first” web strategy is important because it shows customers directly what they need and want to know. A product page, for instance, may show the vital details only. In this way, they become more focused. They are also more satisfied because it’s easier to see the factors they want to see. This can encourage them more to make an actual purchase.

Some big companies have also been changing their product images. For example, instead of showing the full shot of a shampoo container, a close-up shot of it the top half is shown beside blown-up graphics of other essential details. This is because many customers do not read the description or accompanying text. They only depend on the images.

Furthermore, you ought to be aware that Google actually prioritizes mobile-optimized websites. They also put great weight on loading time. Therefore, if you have a “mobile first” version that loads faster, it can actually increase your ranking on Google. And consequently, this will also improve your click-through rate and conversion rate in the long run.

Here’s another perk you can enjoy— mobile-optimized sites actually take up much less bandwidth. This can save you space and money while also increasing your sales.

Implementing the Mobile First Strategy

In implementing the mobile first strategy, you can’t just change or adjust design elements at random. You must have a plan.

First of all, you need to know your customers very well. Make sure that you don’t put anything on your mobile version that’s not necessary.  You must also decide whether you want to go with the mobile first concept, or a full responsive design.  Customer experience is crucial here. Keep this in mind when deciding your mobile strategy.  If you currently do not have a mobile website, consider adding one immediately.  If you are a Yahoo! Store, we can get you set up right away with Yahoo’s Mobile Website implementation.  It is based upon mobile first concepts and it is fast loading. If you are on other platforms such as Shopify, Big Commerce, or Magento – work directly with your developer to customize the solution that is best for you.

Second, you ought to go through what is called Progressive Enhancement. This means that you will not trim down your desktop website. You shouldn’t start there. Instead, what you have to do is begin from the most foundational elements and details and work your way up from there. It’s all about visual hierarchy.

Finally, consider using a service such as Speed Wizard and Page Load Speed Optimizer,  which compresses your images and framework. As mentioned above, there are also creative ways for you to modify your photos so that you can visually display the essential info at a glance.

It may take more resources for you to come up with a mobile first strategy. But in the long run, your savings and profits will surely accelerate.  Being successful in e-commerce means keeping up with change and technology.

Additional Resources: Yahoo! Store Mobile FAQ’s

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