This year the importance of mobile for retailers has become even more integral to businesses, with Google now explicitly ranking mobile friendly sites higher than their non-optimised counterparts. However, despite the increase of mobile shoppers and the SEO benefits of mobile friendliness, many businesses still haven’t optimised their websites for mobile.
As a result of this, the UK retail industry is currently sacrificing £6.6 billion per year, says Centre for Retail Research.
How mobile buying habits have changed eCommerce
The age of mobile buying habits have had a huge impact on the world of eCommerce and changed it forever. Whilst consumers have always been able to shop-around-the-clock with eCommerce, mobile commerce essentially allows them to shop at any time, from any location. Whether they’re in the comfort of their own home, at work or on the go, they can make a purchase using their mobile, with just a few taps of the screen.
The rise in mobile buying habits has of course meant that businesses need to adapt their eCommerce sites for mobile devices. Not only have responsive web designs become an essential but also integration with mobile-friendly payment options too.
Mobile buying habits have also increased competitiveness in the eCommerce market. With the ability to automatically compare prices (both in-store and online), businesses have to ensure they’re on the ball with cost-effective pricing.
After pricing comparisons, mobile shoppers are also likely to look for user reviews on their smartphones before making a purchasing decision. This has called for a greater focus on customer service both on eCommerce websites and social media.
Finally, mobile buying habits have changed eCommerce SEO. With more and more people using their smartphones to shop online, Google has changed the way it ranks sites in mobile search, ensuring that it favours those offering a mobile friendly design.
What this means for eCommerce retailers
As it currently stands, less than 3% of retailers believe their businesses are cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready and a further 70% are not currently offering a mobile website or app for consumers according to research by Barclays (source digital marketing magazine).
This means that the majority of businesses are still missing out on the new opportunities and benefits provided by the age of mobile buying. It also suggests that those willing to invest in a responsive eCommerce design and mobile shopping experience have a greater chance of getting a step ahead of their competitors.
How to make eCommerce site mobile friendly
“One of the easiest ways to tell if your eCommerce store is mobile friendly is to use Google’s simple Mobile Friendly Test tool,” says David Bryan, Managing Director of Magento eCommerce Agency.
He continues “This tool will analyse your website and report back on its findings. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will provide suggestions on what you need to do to get it that way. Our advice? Get a responsive eCommerce design.”
A lot can influence whether or not an eCommerce site is mobile friendly, from the size of its image and text, to the font it is using. If a site doesn’t load quickly on smartphones or fails to load certain pages, it will not pass Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
Responsive eCommerce designs are clever in that they can adapt to the device they are being viewed on. This means an eCommerce site offers the optimal shopping experience, whether a user is browsing from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC.
In the age of mobile buying habits, responsive design has become an essential for all eCommerce websites. It’s no longer a luxury but rather something an eCommerce business needs if it’s going to make the most of the opportunities provided by mobile commerce.
“Using an eCommerce platform that supports mobile commerce is also important” says David Bryan. “Magento is the top choice, with both its Enterprise Edition and Community Edition using HTML5 and being fully compatible with responsive design.”
The future is bright for mobile friendly businesses
With 73% of UK shoppers predicting they will spend more on mobile this year and UK consumers set to spend £53.4 billion a year using their smartphones by 2024, there is no doubt about the fact that mobile commerce is the way forward. Those keen to reap the benefits should consider investing in a responsive eCommerce design today.
Visit http://magentoecommerce.agency to find out more about their responsive Magento design services.
Telephone: 0121 371 0435
Magento eCommerce Agency
55 Newhall Street
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Image credits: Jason A. Howie
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