The past year has been turbulent for many businesses. Whether it’s been navigating redundancies, furlough or remote working – companies have had to quickly adapt to new ways of working.
Coined by many as the Zoom Boom, people around the world have been forced into their homes and rely on technology to stay in touch with family and friends. But what impact has the pandemic had on businesses?
Firstly, fueled by national lockdowns, footfall in retail dropped by 75%, with shoppers choosing to stay at home. Although footfall is now increasing, shoppers are still down by 30%, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending.
As lockdowns became the new normal, businesses went digital, opting to provide more goods and services online, accelerating the shift to e-commerce by 5 years according to experts. So, with more consumers choosing to buy online instead of in-store, what does this mean for e-commerce sites?
The rise of using smartphones
According to Statistica, 63% of people use their smartphones to buy online and browse the internet. As such, the importance of mobile optimisation is not to be understated.
With the majority of potential buyers using a mobile device, websites must be easy to navigate and simple. If consumers are met with tiny buttons, hard to read links and unclear forms – the user experience suffers. And if the user experience suffers that’s bad news, cue abandoned carts and unfinished purchases!
That’s where mobile optimisation comes in.
So, what exactly is mobile optimisation?
In plain terms, mobile optimisation is the process of ensuring visitors accessing your site from mobile devices have an optimal experience. Optimising your site for mobile means that visitors won’t leave due to the inconvenience.
But it’s important to make the distinction between mobile optimisation and mobile friendly. Mobile friendly sites will load on all devices and will be easy to navigate, with large buttons and command options.
Mobile optimised sites go one step further and provide mobile visitors with an optimum experience. Taking into account different screen sizes and load times, mobile optimised sites look at the design, structure and speed of the page to ensure the best experience for mobile visitors.
Why is mobile optimisation so important?
Mobile search has dominated desktop for some time now. Since 2009, mobile browsing has been steadily growing and as a result, mobile browsing overtook web in 2014. Yet it’s showing no signs of letting up.
With more people browsing on mobile devices, the danger of not optimising your site for web is that you can easily get left behind. Take SEO for example – Google now operates mobile-first indexing which means that Google will use the mobile site’s content to decipher rankings. If your site isn’t optimised – there’s a good chance your content won’t be discovered. No matter how good it may be.
Secondly, mobile is the main driver of voice search. With the rise of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, voice search has become a key part of many companies marketing strategies and its origin is mobile devices.
Not only this, but according to research, 58% of smartphone users feel more favourable toward companies whose mobile sites or apps remember who they are and their past behaviour.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to adapt your website to become more mobile friendly. Many email optimisation platforms also offer mobile-optimised templates, so there’s no excuse not to take mobile seriously.
How to become more mobile friendly?
Start with a responsive design
A responsive design changes according to the screen size on which they are viewed. Images become smaller and users may see a “hamburger menu”. By starting with a responsive design, your site will look more attractive and be easier to use to any visitors, which will help increase your conversions.
Improve loading speed
Nobody wants to be waiting around for a page to load. One way to optimise the site for mobile is to improve loading speeds. As a starting point, you can do this by making images lighter.
When creating copy for a mobile optimised site, text should be short and easy to read. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and drawn-out points. Short and sweet is best.
Make life easy
Viewers want to be able to complete purchases quickly and easily. It’s best to offer a range of payment options including PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay as part of the checkout process.
Last but not least, it is also important to keep pop-outs to a minimum. As space is limited on mobile, pop-up can be extremely annoying for mobile users.
The bottom line…
Businesses that don’t optimise their website or email marketing strategies are likely to fall behind. Driven by voice search and mobile-first indexing, it has never been more important to keep mobile visitors in mind.
Luckily, most businesses can review their website and make small changes that will have a big impact. If you’re not sure where to start – perhaps it’s time to reach out to an expert who can help get your website in ship-shape.