Article Overview

As the internet world grows larger you will find that more and more people are starting to use their hand held mobile phone devices. This phenomena is growing at an extremely fast rate and will over the near future overtake desktop usage. All you need to do is look around you and all you can see are people on their phones searching or tapping away. The uptake in this technology is absolutely amazing, in fact, you can rarely go out in public and not see this happening. What amazes me more is even in third world countries where this was unheard of 3 years ago, you can see vendors on the beach using their iphones. People will start to use these devices to purchase their products online, rather than their desktop. I bought some vitamins on my iphone last week whilst in front on my desktop. How weird is that?

With this apparent movement away from the desktop environment it is vital for the success of any business relying on ecommerce online sales to be aware of this and design a site with mobile technology in mind.

If you look at the home page on a mobile phone, you will see that it is very different from the desktop homepage. In fact they are really worlds apart. On the mobile phone it is more about users being able to find what they are looking for in a quick, easy to find manner, where as on a desktop it is more about content and users using the navigation to get around the site. It is more of an experience, rather than a quick 1 step journey.

Following are a few easy to understand tips for mobile ecommerce sales.

Having a keyword search easily visible helps those who know exactly what they’re looking. Having large full screen buttons helps those users who want to browse a bit before making a purchase.

Since the screen is much smaller and fiddley on a mobile device, users would love all the pre-empted help they can get so a suggestive keyword search is so important. When a user starts typing within a search box a drop down should appear showing them suggested search terms. This decreases the time a shopper needs to type out a product name and increases convenience and usability of the mobile website.

Once a user has found the product they are looking for, it should be obvious how to purchase it. Designing a large bright button above the fold will make it easier for users to add the item to their cart. Information about the product can be displayed in an accordion style to better utilise the space available as well as minimise page load time as not all information needs to be visible at once.

Also, there obviously should be an image of the product visible. If there was a gallery of images to be shown, using the smart phones intuitive way of swiping through them should be used (i.e. if you are on an iPhone users should be able to swipe across to see more images).

The checkout process on a mobile site needs to be as streamline and simple as possible. The pages need to load fast and the form needs to be easy to use. Giving users the option whether to checkout using an existing customer account or just a guest account is a good way to speed up the process.

Users who are already members will have all their details already pre filled. The size of the form boxes are very important, users will need to touch each box and type within them.

If they are too small, a user might miss and click the wrong box causing frustration. Remember that this is the make or break point, a user is about to purchase your product, making this process harder than it should be might result in losing them.
Also only the bare minimum form fields needed to complete the purchase should be displayed on a mobile device, it is difficult enough to fill them out without having to do it many times over.

Mobile e-commerce sites are an increasing source of revenue for companies. Keeping the above tips in mind while designing your mobile e-commerce website will surely result in increased sales and happy customers.

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