Venturing out into the bold world of mobile apps and marketing is a lot like the early days of the internet. Whoever gets there first gets to stake their claim to the largest share of visitors and orders – and those who lag behind often get passed over for their more tech-savvy counterparts.
The fact is, the world is catching on to mobile shopping, and in the U.K., more customers are doing their shopping by tablet than in-store. Rather than competing based on price alone, retailers have learned that offering the best possible mobile experience leads to higher conversions, more sales, and more repeat orders.
So what can we learn from the winners (and losers)? Read on to find out the latest mobile marketing conversion tips.
The Top Retailers’ Websites are Mobile-Responsive
In this world of app-hungry smartphones, you’d think that shopping online could be done more efficiently over an app – however, consumers don’t think so. In fact, according to a study by ZMags, only 4% of customers would prefer to browse online using an app on their phone or tablet, as opposed to 87% who would rather view a website on their computer:
87% of customers still prefer to browse and discover products on their computers versus an app
The message is loud and clear: a mobile-responsive website gets far more attention than an app. It’s important to note that you should look for a theme or website design which is mobile-responsive rather than “mobile friendly” or “mobile optimized”. All the terms sound alike, but here’s what they typically involve, and how they differ:
- Mobile Friendly – Sites that load equally well between mobile devices and PCs. Buttons and navigation, as well as images, tend to be much smaller and may not respond well to touch-screen style use.
- Mobile Optimized – These are sites that are built to work exclusively with mobile devices. Essentially, the site will detect whether you’re using a computer or a mobile phone/tablet and load the appropriate pages. These typically include larger, touch-screen-friendly buttons and navigation and a reduced need for extensive typing.
- Mobile Responsive – The ideal scenario. Mobile-responsive pages change their orientation based on the size of the user’s device – whether it’s a full-size screen or a small handheld. Essentially, it combines the best of both mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized practices to create a page that works well for any situation.
Lessons Learned from Apple, Best Buy and Kohls: Make Your Customer’s Experience Memorable
According to a study by Mobiquity, three of the top mobile website retailers – Apple, Best Buy and Kohls, lead the pack in terms of customer shopping satisfaction – and there are several threads that each of these sites has in common with regards to their mobile strategies:
Best Buy, Apple and Kohls consistently receive high marks when it comes to browsing and buying on mobile phones
For one thing, each mobile page loads quickly and efficiently – a major make-or-break function for people with limited data plans. But a fast loading page isn’t the only factor. For example, Apple’s mobile experience allows you to browse, buy and customize your product on-the-fly, while Best Buy lets you check out ratings and compare products directly from their device-friendly site.
It’s important to note that the Mobiquity study also found that as many as 43% of shoppers would be less likely to shop at a retailer after a poor mobile experience. 65% of smartphone-shopping customers felt that the load time for mobile sites was too slow, and as many as 39% noted that navigation was a problem for them.
The key message here is to keep it simple, clear and focused. Remove the clutter, optimize loading times and leave out the superfluous stuff that customers don’t need or want.
Lessons Learned from 1-800-FLOWERS and Comcast: Don’t Neglect the Click-to-Call
Don’t forget the “phone” in smartphone. Click-to-call is an extremely helpful feature to have. According to a Google study from 2011, 61% of users take advantage of click-to-call after searching for a local business. 1-800 FLOWERS and Comcast also saw a boost from using click-to-call – up to a 270% increase in click through rates.
For some retailers, a click-to-call feature resulted in 270% higher click through rates
Fortunately, adding click-to-call to your own website is incredibly simple and is done in much the same way as a regular hyperlink. The “tel” schema, as it’s known, works on a wide range of mobile devices, including Android, Safari on iOS, Symbian, Internet Explorer, Opera Mini and more.
The Highest Converting Mobile Retailers Optimize Their Forms
Remember, when optimizing for the mobile market, you have to strip away all the excess stuff or risk losing the sale altogether. This is critically important for your website forms. Reduce the need to constantly type in things, and keep your form fields short and to-the-point, ideally 3 fields or less for best results. Many companies and web service firms, such as FormSite and Constant Contact, already include the option for mobile-ready forms that automatically resize to fit the user’s screen.
You can also take advantage of HTML 5’s new form input types to customize your forms specifically for mobile users:
Examples of telephone and URL fields customized with HTML 5 input types
The bottom line with mobile marketing and conversion rates is a lot like optimizing normal websites – customers want fast, simple and effective. With more and more digital devices coming online and millions of sites and ads clamoring for our attention, the sites that take the time to streamline, track, test and measure their results will come out the winners – whether customers are accessing their page on a laptop, or a toaster.
About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversions with user-friendly design and compelling copywriting. Like this article? Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up at iElectrify.com