Increasing Mobile Conversions: 5 Things Nobody Ever Tells You

By Amy Africa, CEO, Eight by Eight

Think increasing conversion on your regular website is tough? Well, fasten your seatbelts because the problems you’re facing there are only a tenth of what you’ll experience when you enter into the land of selling on a 2 x 4. It’s a challenge to say the least. Here are five things you simply must know…

  1. Users expect a connect between your mobile site/app and your regular site and marketing materials. Granted, you don’t have to be EXACTLY the same but you do need similarity as more than three quarters of your folks are going to use BOTH FOR THE SAME TRANSACTION. Where is the connect the most important? On all your entry pages, especially your “official” home page.
  2. You must know what your users are doing online to achieve any kind of significant conversion to, well, anything. Whether you want inquiries or orders, you need to know what your users are doing with their phones before you start asking for it. Why? Because people who come from Facebook behave differently than people who come from Twitter and people who come from Twitter aren’t at all like people who come from your e-mails and text messages. Granted, this sounds like a ridiculous tip but the truth is that it’s one of the most critical. Why? Because a lot of social media activity is done on smart/feature phones and if that’s the case with your business, that could be the first place you look to get more sales/inquiries. Companies who are interested in mobile tend to overbuild areas in hopes that if “you build it they will come.” That’s ok but it’s usually better to build where the users are first.
  3. Onsite search trips everyone up. Sadly, whatever search problems you have on your site will be about 30 times worse on your mobile site. That’s the bad news about mobile. The good news is that if you can streamline some of your issues, your increased conversions will more than make up for it. (So few companies are doing anything on mobile that even if your site isn’t perfect, a little effort will go a very long way.) Your onsite text search will be heavily adopted if your navigation is weak. Therefore, if you want to make your site better without breaking the bank, work on your navigation, especially your jump links.
  4. Mobile checkouts need to be more than miniaturized versions of your regular checkout, no matter how perfect your traditional checkout is. Building the perfect mobile checkout is a difficult process and it takes time and a lot of testing to see what works and what doesn’t. While you’re working on it, make sure that you offer lots of alternatives to ordering on the handheld – put your phone number all over the site till you think you have it in far too many places. Then double the occurrences. Same with your e-mail address and any click-to-call or mobile enabled live chat and text messaging options.
  5. Abandoned cart programs work like gangbusters. As a rule of thumb, take whatever your performance is on your existing program and then triple it. That’s what you should get from a mobile abandoned cart program. (You’ll get even better results if you include text messaging in your efforts.) Remember, a program includes more than one e-mail (preferably 5-6), pop-ups (midis, catfishes, sidewinders work best), outbound telemarketing efforts on large orders, and so on.

Bonus tip:

Speaking of text messaging… It will be one of the best tools in your arsenal. Test it now, before it gets really popular.

About the Author

Amy Africa - Mobile ConversionsAmy Africa has been in the forefront of web usability studies, web design improvement, and successful e-commerce for over 15 years. Amy has been widely published in industry magazines and has been featured at web conferences around the globe. Her depth of knowledge, backed by intensive field testing and web user studies, has earned her the reputation of a voice to be heard on Internet topics ranging from site improvement, traffic building to analytics, email marketing and mobile.? ? Check out Amy’s blog.

Amy will be presenting a session on mobile conversions at Conversion Conference West 2011.

3 thoughts on “Increasing Mobile Conversions: 5 Things Nobody Ever Tells You

  1. This is great info Amy. I welcome your next blog. In this rapidly changing world we live in I must say that it is a big relief to receive relevant and applicable tips as I effort to “stay in the flow” in this wild ride of technology! Thank you Amy.
    Katie Cavanaugh
    Clear Path Success Strategies

  2. Hi Katie — Thanks for your comment! I think the only place I can keep up with the flow is my yoga class! I live and breathe this mobile stuff and I am still usually behind the 8-ball! Thank goodness it’s fun!

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