U.S. consumers are spending more time than ever on mobile devices (last year showed an 81 percent increase in mobile data traffic, according to Re/code), but ConversionXL reports that mobile conversion rates remain low. This is a huge opportunity for marketers who can create mobile Web design that encourages user engagement — and that means more than a pretty typeface.
Try these six practices to turn browsers into shoppers:
1. Plan for Change
Users expect to access their data everywhere and on every device. It's not enough to plan just for smartphones and tablets — you want to use responsive design to adapt to the evolving mobile ecosystem. Create designs that suit these platforms rather than trying to replicate the desktop experience.
2. Keep It Familiar
To avoid user abandonment, make your site very easy to use. Consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages via dozens of channels each day. Keep your customers engaged by making it simple to find the information they are looking for on your site. This helps them make purchasing decisions efficiently.
3. You Care, They Share
Empathy wins the day in mobile. Define your target users and build your website for them, testing your design early and often. Mobile users are goal-oriented — your desktop home page may function as a welcome page, messaging center and promotional space, but your mobile home page should focus on connecting users to the content they want.
4. Easy Input
Mobile says what it's about right in the name: Your user is on the go. Your mobile Web design must address your user's lack of keyboard and the likelihood that he or she is multitasking. Put calls-to-action front and center. Users want to be able to find the home page easily, so make sure menu text is short and to the point. Whenever possible, keep users in a single window.
5. Function and Form
Design the most efficient forms possible. Make sure they have no repeat actions, and use only as many fields as necessary. Take advantage of autofill and tab forward so users don't have to switch between the pop-up keyboard and the screen. If you have multipart forms, use a progress bar to let users know where they are in the process.
6. Switch It Up
Most consumers use a combination of devices throughout the purchase journey. It's worth digging into your analytics to look for purchasing trends that could help you capture them earlier in the process. In the meantime, make sure their experience is consistent across all devices to eliminate confusion.
There's much untapped potential in the mobile market. The savvy marketer anticipates customer needs and adapts to them.