With the constant advancements in technology taking place every day, it’s no surprise that over 270 million U.S. consumers now own smartphones – a number that continues to grow steadily. In this digital age, our smartphones have become indispensable companions, even during traditional shopping trips.
Remarkably, a staggering 80% of shoppers have embraced the convenience of using their mobile phones inside physical stores, searching for information ranging from product reviews to price comparisons. Whether it’s to look up details about a product’s features, read about other customers’ experiences, or even find a reliable web design company in Virginia, our trusty smartphones have become invaluable shopping assistants.
As these numbers highlight the prevalence of mobile usage in the shopping journey, it becomes clear that optimizing e-commerce websites for mobile users is no longer optional; it’s an absolute necessity.
Not sure where to begin? We are here to help.
In this article, we’ll explore the essential aspects of ecommerce website development services that empower businesses to tap into this mobile-first shopping revolution, ensuring seamless experiences that engage and delight customers.
What is Mobile-first Design?
When you’re designing your online store, there are two primary approaches you can choose from: responsive design and mobile-first design. Before making a choice you should the core difference between the two.
In responsive design, the website adjusts the contents and visuals automatically to fit different screen sizes. Most of the ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify offer responsive themes and templates that work well on multiple devices.
On the other hand, mobile-first design refers to creating a mobile version of your website first in order to deliver a seamless and intuitive experience to mobile users. But this doesn’t mean your website will be responsive automatically.
The best approach is having a website that is both mobile-first and responsive means it’s designed to work best on mobile devices while also adjusting itself to look great on desktop computers. By adopting the two approaches together, you ensure to deliver a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience to all the shoppers, regardless of the device they use.
The Significance of Mobile-first Design for Ecommerce Businesses?
It’s hard to believe that desktops no longer account for the preponderance of website traffic. According to studies, roughly 60 percent of web traffic is generated by mobile devices.
A mobile-first design prioritizes the user experience for the widest audience. By prioritizing the mobile user experience, you will make your content more accessible to your largest potential customer base.
This seamless user experience is the key to revenue growth for any expanding brand. In addition, a mobile-first design can make your ecommerce website more accessible. Focusing on design elements such as contrast, color, and text enables ADA compliance when designing for mobile.
The final significant advantage of the mobile-first design is that it can help ecommerce merchants reach their target audience through search engines. Currently, 64% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices.
In response, Google implemented its Mobile-First Indexing algorithm, demonstrating publicly the importance of mobile-friendly design for search engine rankings.
Optimal Guidelines for Adopting Mobile-First Design
Now that you have understood the core difference between responsive and mobile-first design and the significance of mobile-first design in the ecommerce industry, it is high time to discuss how to implement a mobile-first design approach into your website.
Improve Page Loading Speed
The marketing department is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the effects of mobile page speed on the entire customer experience.
Sites that take too long to load might get a lower rating from search engines like Google. (And we can all agree that SEO is crucial for online stores.) You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to see how long it takes for your site to load. If the pace at which your mobile pages load is less than ideal, you can enhance the user experience by:
Decreasing lines of code: Excessive coding slows down browsers. Reduce the file size of your HTML, JS, and CSS files. (If this code is crucial, you may want to activate browser caching so that visitors to your site won’t have to wait for the same code to load each time they come back.)
Image compression: Websites that are optimized for mobile devices typically use huge graphics, animations, or videos that nonetheless convey the intended message. Compressing these photos doesn’t often degrade image quality; instead, it reduces the file size to speed up page loads.
Getting rid of unneeded software: Hundreds of third-party applications for both Shopify and BigCommerce exist to aid stores with anything from advertising to stock management. The addition of too many applications, however, might increase loading times by as much as 34.1 ms, as discovered by Backlinko. Review all of the plugins currently running on your website and disable any that aren’t necessary.
Minimize the Use of Pop-ups
You can use a pop-up to advertise a bargain, gather email addresses for retargeting, or both. Keep in mind, too, that mobile-first design places a premium on the convenience of mobile users. They’re accessing your online shop on a mobile device.
Even if there are only a few fields in the pop-up, it might be enough to deter a mobile visitor from completing a purchase. Carefully reviewing your pop-up approach can ensure that mobile users are not overwhelmed. This might imply:
Restrict pop-ups on certain pages: A product page should be optimized to convert visitors into buyers. To keep the user engaged with the content on this page, you may choose to disable pop-ups and instead deploy them on mobile landing pages (like your homepage or about page).
Integrate triggers: Mobile consumers should be allowed to explore your site for at least a few seconds before being bombarded with a pop-up. Experiment with exit intent triggers (which display when a visitor indicates they are going to leave your site) and timed pop-ups (which show after a certain amount of time, like 30 seconds).
Reduce the size of the pop-up alert: If you don’t want to restrict consumers’ use of pop-ups, at least give them the choice to reduce their frequency. When they’re done reading, they can go back to the pop-up they dismissed.
Use Vertical Images for Optimal Display
The majority of people who use social media sites do so on mobile devices, therefore vertical photographs are nothing new for these platforms. This form of a stacked picture is spread out horizontally and fills up the entire screen. As a result, the viewer is frequently required to stop scrolling and concentrate fully on the content being presented to them.
Create a shopping experience that is optimized for mobile devices, just like you would for in-store customers. On the product pages of your e-commerce website, utilize vertical content in the form of photographs, videos, or customer reviews.
Integrate Finger-friendly Buttons
When using a mobile website, how often do you find yourself pressing the wrong button by accident? The store has thrown off your shopping routine. You go back, look for the part you were in, and select the appropriate option.
Users often experience “fat finger syndrome” while trying to utilize a device with tiny buttons because their fingers obscure the action. They either don’t press the button at all, or they press the wrong part of it. Make sure your e-commerce site’s buttons are easy for customers to operate with their fingers to avoid this problem.
The mobile-first design solution to this problem is to make buttons at least 45 pixels wide, the width of the average user’s finger. If you’re working with more room than usual, consider designing for thumb-clickers, whose active area is around 72 pixels wide.
Ensure Your Design Works Well on Different Devices
The biggest challenge in implementing mobile-first design majority of designers work from a desktop environment is the greatest obstacle for mobile-first design.
Test your mobile-first design to ensure that it appears and works correctly across a variety of mobile devices, such as an iPhone, an Android phone, or a Google Pixel phone, before you make it available to the general public. Due to the fact that each device has a unique screen size, online sites might seem different depending on the device.
To ensure a seamless user experience for all visitors, you must conduct comprehensive testing across different mobile devices. Check how the website appears and functions on each device, making sure that all elements are properly displayed, and that buttons and links are easily accessible. Pay attention to the loading speed and overall responsiveness as well.
The Key Takeaways
More and more people are switching from desktop computers to mobile devices to browse the web, and this trend is only expected to accelerate. As a result, it is crucial that designers to create mobile-friendly websites.
Implementing a mobile-first design would help organizations not only take advantage of the current mobile boom but also be ready for the projected rapid growth in the next years.