10 Steps to Convert Mobile Users

Not too long ago, mobiles weren’t seen as conversion devices.

A lot has changed since then. Today’s mobile users have come to embrace their smartphones and tablets as shopping gadgets. Forrester reports, for instance, that mobile traffic comprises as much as 30% of major ecommerce websites.

If your visitors are still not converting, below is a 10-step solution to finally convert your mobile users:

1. Find and fix usability issues

The mobile form factor used to be the biggest conversion barrier. It’s no longer the case, however, as users are now accustomed to using these devices for internet access and online shopping. What’s keeping conversion rates low for mobile are the myriad of usability issues that users encounter on most mobile sites and apps.

So how do you find the usability problems that are crippling your conversions?

The best way is through usability testing with users. Usability testing can provide critical insights on issues in your mobile site design, language, navigation, and other factors that keep visitors from converting. Some of these issues will be obvious; only you don’t see them since you’re too familiar and invested in your site.

Usability tests don’t have to be costly. In fact, you only need five users to get optimal usability testing insights.

2. Reduce load time

Your mobile site or app’s load time has a significant impact on user experience. Mobile users have very little patience for slow-loading sites. Most of them expect your mobile site to be at least as fast as your desktop website. According to Kissmetrics, your mobile visitors will only wait 6-10 seconds before completely abandoning your site.

Even when visitors do decide to wait, sluggish sites can increase perceived effort and lead to frustration for most users. The folks at Usertesting observe that users want a mobile site to respond instantaneously to their actions. When that response is delayed, they tend to either push several buttons in succession (which could lead to the site freezing, crashing, or returning an error) or just leave the site for something else.

3. Try mobile-only offers

If you’re getting a lot of mobile traffic that’s not converting well, your visitors could be in need of a little nudging. Depending on the context of your users (how, where, when, and what they use your mobile site for), you can deploy exclusive mobile offers that influence visitor behavior.

Mobile-only campaigns can engage your mobile users and provide positive reinforcement for converting on your mobile site. Time-sensitive mobile-only discounts or deals, for instance, can persuade visitors by creating a sense of urgency and capitalizing on loss-aversion.

The key here is to target your offers to a narrow segment of your mobile traffic, like visitors who added an item to their carts but didn’t check out and have been unresponsive to your cart abandonment recovery messages.

4. Make it easy to switch between devices

Let’s face it: there are customers who are not comfortable with buying on mobile and would rather complete their purchase on a desktop. Some visitors might use their mobile devices for research or comparison shopping but ultimately prefer the desktop site for its rich detail and better information availability.

It would a big mistake to ignore this multi-device behavior. Imagine your mobile users’ annoyance when your desktop site doesn’t remember their previous actions done on your mobile site (like adding an item to cart).

Make sure you provide your visitors a seamless multi-device shopping experience by keeping their information synchronized across your sites.

5. Give your bestsellers prime web real estate

A lot of mobile sites still look like miniaturized versions of desktop sites, with promotional ads, branding image, or rotating banners getting prime real estate.

But your mobile users rarely come to your website to learn about your promos or new items. In fact, these things could even be distracting your visitors from their task on your site.

You will be doing your mobile users (and your company) a favor if you put your bestselling products or commonly accessed items in that area instead. Check Google Analytics or whatever data analytics tool you’re using to find out which items or products get the most mobile traffic and conversions, and give these the proper place they deserve on your website.

6. Optimize on-site search

Navigation is a last resort for online users. People only use navigation menus when they can’t find the content they need in the body of your website.

In the context of smaller screens, users tend to prefer using the search box over category navigation to find whatever it is they’re looking for on mobile sites. Unfortunately, very few sites are able to meet mobile user expectations when it comes to product findability via onsite search, which often leads to abandonment.

According to Baymard Institute, the two biggest opportunities for optimizing site search are:

  1. Suggesting highly relevant categories to search within in your autocomplete recommendations. This allows you to display search results that have already been filtered and sorted by category.
  1. Displaying even low quality suggestions when returning “no results” to a search query, which at least gives mobile users a new path to follow instead of appearing to be a dead end.

7. Emphasize security

The perception of a lack of security is one the main reasons a lot of mobile visitors aren’t eager to convert on mobile devices. Safety, privacy, and security concerns intensify when visitors are in high-risk areas of your website when they’re being asked to divulge sensitive personal and financial data.

It’s important to reassure your mobile visitors that their information is protected especially when they’re in an area where you’re asking for information like a landing page form or in the checkout process. Putting trust seals and security badges on these parts of your site may be all you need to convince visitors that their data is safe with you.

8. Remove unnecessary form fields

No one wants to be typing on a mobile device. As the folks from UserTesting observe, the amount of information you make people enter on a mobile web form is often directly proportional to their drop-off rate.

Try to eliminate form fields if you can. Or at least reduce the amount of effort needed to input information. For instance, ask your visitors to enter their zip code first when providing an address so you can simply auto-fill the city and state in their forms. Using tools that autocomplete or suggest the street address for visitors based on what they’re typing can further make life easier for your mobile users.

9. Provide one-step or one-click checkout

Your mobile ecommerce site should allow exploration and comparison for visitors who are not yet ready to buy. But once they do decide to buy, make purchasing easy with minimal tapping involved.

One way to do this is by utilizing one-step or one-click checkout. One-step checkout lets your mobile customer breeze through the purchase process using a predefined address and credit card number. This removes the hassle we’ve mentioned about manually inputting billing and shipping information once users have registered to your site.

10. Offer alternative payment options

Inputting information is painful enough as it is for mobile users. Just imagine how cumbersome it gets when they have to type in a 16-digit credit card number and then their billing address. Then there’s the fact that users have to fish out their card from their physical wallet, which increases the risk of triggering the “ouch” factor of money cues.

In this sense, integrating alternative mobile-friendly payment solutions such as PayPal, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, or Amazon Payments into your site has obvious advantages. First, your mobile visitors can breeze their way through check out if they have existing accounts with these payment solutions. And since there’s no physical wallet involved, your visitors won’t feel the psychological pain of paying for their purchases as much.

Mobile has gone mainstream. It’s now up to digital marketers to conquer the inherent weaknesses of mobile devices so they can unleash its power for increasing conversions and driving business growth. Start with usability improvements then work on improving and fine-tuning the different areas that directly affect mobile user experience.

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