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// How to increase your mobile conversion rate (and why RWD is not a solution)?

An increasing percentage of shop visitors are mobile customers. Unfortunately, there are not many of them among these actually making a purchase. Let’s see what can be done about it.

More than half of the global traffic reaching online stores is generated using mobile devices. More and more often, it is also the case on the Polish market.

Unfortunately, this is not followed by conversions, which – according to various sources – account for approx. 20%.

As you could have expected, clients are prevented from converting by certain barriers. Let’s take a closer look at them:

4 out of 5 main reasons behind the lack of conversion are related to the utility of the website. These include:

  • insufficient information about the product
  • difficult navigation
  • product comparison is unavailable
  • long and complicated checkout

Mobile retailers have not fully capitalised on mobile share of consumer time, with a gap between share of minutes and dollar spend. The point is that at the same time, mobile customers already exist and  – what is more – they are highly impatient. Studies have shown that:

The one who will be able to acquire this customer as the first one, will take away customers from his competitors. On the other hand, a mobile customer is a valuable one, because he is more prone to make purchase decisions highly impulsively:

Well, how to make the life of a customer easier? Everything begins with the store designing process.

Graceful Degradation

This concept, also called Responsive Web Design (RWD), involves removing elements from the website that do not fit on the mobile screen. Josh Clark put it well in his famous slide quoting Bruce Lee:

Isn’t that right? Definitely. Do you feel anxious? I do feel. What’s important is what’s not on the slide: the shopping process is much more than just content. It is also the load speed of the page, the usefulness of the information contained therein, at my exact location and time, as well as an easy checkout.

Imagine you are standing in a crowded tram, with one hand clutching on to the railing, and the other trying to hold your smartphone and fill in the 12 mandatory fields in the delivery form. Difficult? Now take out your credit card to write down the number…

Progressive Improvement

This approach is the opposite of the Graceful Degradation. It is assumed here that the customer having a mobile device is the most important one and we are developing a store specifically for him. If there are some customer-friendly desktop features, then that is great – we will add them later. The process is, however, designed for the most valuable touchpoint. We have to admit that such an approach may result in the need to design a separate store for desktop customers. Nevertheless, if it is economically profitable, then why not?

Design

We take a lot of decisions when designing for a mobile customer. In addition, there are few good practices we could rely on because customer expectations regarding this matter are changing dynamically.

Some decisions are obvious…

  • … for example these concerning the carousel. Mobile banners should not scroll on their own, because nobody stares passively at their phone, waiting for something to move.
  • Studies have also confirmed the significance of repeating the value proposition to the client, especially in the basket.
  • On the page showing the products collectively (the so-called listing), the filter should appear collapsed in order not to conceal what the customer came here for – the products! Once it is expanded, it should enable contextual filtering of the current list (spoiler: there is no point in narrowing the price range, when all products in the search cost practically the same).
  • As the size of phones grows, so does the bottom bar navigation popularity. Why? In order not to force you to use your second hand. Remember: a tram can stop unexpectedly, and then the opportunity to convert is lost.

These are just a few of the most obvious examples. Sooner or later the basic knowledge resources become exhausted, and then it is necessary to use the A/B tests.

A/B tests

The A/B test is designed to measure the impact of the introduced change on the KPI. Its concept is a comparison of two versions at the same time, taking into account a representative traffic rate.

The A/B test definitely does not verify whether things are better after changing something, than before the change. First of all, the traffic is not the same. Secondly, we can only conduct one test at one time using this method, which is highly limiting.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that customers differ, and all we know about them remains just a hypothesis until it’s proven:

  • at a real production system
  • on your clients

Payments

How to help a customer pay with one hand? By supporting mobile payment methods. In Poland, the most convenient ones are Google Pay, Apple Pay and BLIK. The latter requires switching the application, but you don’t have to put your phone away – and that’s a lot!

Website load speed

A very often neglected, yet critical, feature of a good mobile website is its load speed. Google’s research shows that 53% OF USERS ABANDON A WEBSITE WHICH TAKES 3 SECONDS TO LOAD. It also means the loss of traffic for which you have already paid in AdWords.

So how to achieve high load speed? It’s not easy if a website already exists. However, if you are developing a new shop, it is worth to learn a few tips:

  1. Frontend should be separated from the commerce engine and scaled separately
  2. Using the Progressive Web App (PWA) architecture means that some resources can be downloaded to your phone in advance and made available offline. For a small number of products, this may even mean browsing through a complete catalogue without network coverage (e.g., when travelling by subway or elevator)
  3. The use of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology enables very fast loading of landings, while the application recharges in the background. This gives the customer the impression of very high load speed of the application for most of the purchase paths
  4. Using the Content Delivery Network (CDN) wisely can be very helpful – especially if your store is located in multiple countries

 

SEO

A statement that PWA sites are not SEO compatible is a common misunderstanding. This is not true. A PWA website can be equipped with a Server Side Rendering (SSR) component that will recognize the request from Google robots and prepare the page for indexing.

SEO is actually an argument in favour of investing in a PWA application instead of a native one. PWA combines the interaction and speed of a native application with the possibility of Google indexing its content.

 

Dedicated Frontend

Changing customer requirements mean that mobile devices are no longer an addition, but the business card of each brand. Its proper development is a strategic issue for every business, and it is impossible to address it with half-measures. It is a strategic change that requires a strategic investment calculated for strategic benefit.

// Partners