Mobile commerce is no longer an optional strategy for businesses that sell products online. Customers use mobile devices for pretty much everything today, including shopping. So you need to learn how to sell to customers on mobile devices.
Here’s a list of mobile commerce tips for a strategy that will help you increase sales.
Mobile Commerce Tips
There are several different methods that businesses can use to create effective mobile strategies. But there’s one part that’s not optional.
Online selling expert and CEO of ColderICE Media John Lawson explained in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “You need to have a site that’s optimized for mobile, even if it’s just a mobile responsive template for your current site. But you need to do that today. 50 percent or more of traffic is coming in from mobile devices, so it’s really a no brainer. If you don’t do it you’re just burning money.”
Focus on Photos
With less room on the screen, you need to give prime real estate to the most important things – and that means photos. People don’t buy products unless they can see them clearly. So make sure that your photos are prominent, clear and large.
Make it Easy to Read
The text on your mobile device also needs to be clear and large, so that customers can easily read it. If people have to pinch and zoom or otherwise navigate around to try to read things, they’re more likely to just try another site.
Have a Simple Design
You don’t want to use up your limited screen space with unnecessary design elements or clutter. Keep your design simple so that customers can focus on the most important elements of your site.
Keep Load Times Down
Mobile users don’t want to wait and wait for pages to load. If you keep the design elements minimal and only include the essentials, it shouldn’t take too long to pull up each page. But it’s important to continuously make sure your pages load quickly. And if they don’t, you may need to change some things around.
Stick with Continuous Scrolling
Mobile customers especially don’t like waiting for new pages to load when they’re just trying to browse. So stick with a site that just scrolls continuously instead of one that makes you click on several new pages just to view a selection of products.
Include a Full Range of Products
People don’t want to shop on your mobile site only to find a limited selection of products. While you want to simplify a lot of things on your mobile site, that doesn’t mean cutting down your product selection.
Offer a Few Different Product Filters
Different shoppers like to browse products in different categories and orders. Some like to sort by price, some by rating, and some by other factors. Offer a few different options so that customers can see the most relevant items, without being overwhelmed by too many options.
Include a Prominent Search Box
Other customers just know exactly what it is they’re looking for. So include a search bar at the top of your mobile site or in another prominent location so that those customers don’t have to search all over for the one thing they’re looking for.
Have Large Buttons
If someone is trying to add an item to their shopping cart or press another button on your mobile site, but they accidentally hit something else or are just not able to click that exact button quickly, they may just leave and go to another site. So make it easy as possible for them to use your mobile site by making the buttons large enough to actually use.
Include Space Between Links
Since mobile users rely on touchscreens to navigate, you need to make it easy for them to scroll. If every square inch of your mobile site is covered with buttons and clickable links, they’re likely to click on items they didn’t intend to. So include some space between those elements so you don’t frustrate your customers.
Eliminate Unnecessary Buying Steps
Some website checkouts include several steps, from adding all of your information to signing up for accounts and more. But on mobile, customers are even less likely to make it through all of those steps without abandoning their carts. So you should only include the checkout steps that are absolutely necessary.
Make it Even Easier for Returning Customers
You can also make it easier for returning customers to check out by letting them save their payment and shipping information. That way, it will be even easier for them to check out in the future.
Offer Popular Payment Options
To ensure that customers actually complete purchases, you also need to offer the payment options that they want to use. By offering checkout with PayPal and other popular platforms, you can make the process simple for shoppers.
Include Price Comparison Features
Lots of mobile shoppers also use their devices to browse products and compare prices before making actual buying decisions. If you include features that offer the prices of a few different products on one page, you make that process even easier for those customers.
Provide a Store Locator
If your business also has a physical store location, it’s important to include the location of your store in a prominent spot on your mobile site. Shoppers who are looking for nearby stores often use their mobile devices to search for that information.
Allow Customers to Reserve Products
For those customers who like browsing for products on mobile but would prefer to actually buy them in person, a feature that allows them to reserve products for in-store pickup could be useful.
Consider User-Testing Options
Overall, you want to ensure that your mobile site works exactly how you intended. Even if it looks great to you, actual customers can provide a different perspective. Services like UserZoom allow you to get insights from actual users to ensure that your mobile site works and is easy to use.
Don’t Automatically Decide to Create an App
Dedicated mobile apps can make it even easier for customers to shop with you. But it’s not a given that your company absolutely needs one. In fact, if you’re not able to market your app itself as a useful product to your customers, creating one can be nothing but an expensive waste of time. So consider very carefully if your app would offer a valuable experience before deciding to create one.
Consider How Customers Would Interact with an App
Part of your mobile app decision should deal with the customer experience of your app. Think about what your app would offer to customers that wouldn’t be possible with a regular mobile site. Would you offer interesting push notifications, location-based interaction or other cool features?
Do Some Market Research
Another way to gague interest in a potential app is to simply ask your customers. Come up with an idea for how your app might work and see if customers think it’s something they would use.
Really Sell Customers on Your App
If you do decide to create an app, you need to market it as a product in and of itself.
Lawson says, “You can’t create an app and just expect customers to automatically download it and use it to order products. That doesn’t happen. If you want me to use your app you’ve got to sell me on it and convince me to actually use it.”
Promote It to Your Niche Customers
Most people don’t download shopping apps for every single business they’ve ever made purchases from. So when marketing your app, you need to focus on the customers that are actually likely to use it.
Make Your App an Experience
Once you’ve created an app and gotten customers to download it, the work isn’t over. You have to continuously work to make your app something that people will actually use on a regular basis. Otherwise, they’ll probably just delete it.
Don’t Try to Do Everything
A mobile app doesn’t need to do everything that your website does. Instead, focus on one or two main features and make sure your app does them really well.
Use Targeted Push Notifications
A great method you can use to get customers to come back to your app is by enacting push notifications. You can use them to alert customers when a product they’ve liked or purchased before goes on sale, or if there are any other changes they might be interested in.
Don’t Bombard People with Updates
However, it’s important not to just update every customer every time there’s any change to your store. If people get too many notifications, they might delete the app altogether. So only send out notifications when they’re relevant to a particular customer.
Create a Customized Experience
You can also customize the experience within the app itself. Consider offering features that allow shoppers to save items or create lists that they can come back to later.
Consider Adding Location Features
Another way to make your app an experience is by adding location features. Notify customers when they’re near one of your locations or send them incentives.
Apply the Same Design and Usability Rules to Apps
If you do decide to create a mobile app, it should offer something that a regular mobile website can’t. But many of the same rules still apply. The design and simple buying process should extend to all corners of your mobile strategy.
Mobile Users Photo via Shutterstock