October 23rd, 2018

Features Every Mobile Ecommerce Store Needs

Author: Laura Lynch
Laura Lynch
Director of Marketing

The needs of your mobile ecommerce store are not the same as those of your website.

When you’re launching an ecommerce store, your job isn’t done once you have a functioning website. While many of us think about desktop users first, the reality is that mobile usage far outstrips desktop. And while customers often complete shopping trips on desktop, they begin them on mobile.

As a result, you need create a mobile site that your users can interact with just as readily as your desktop version. However, doing so means implementing some additional features to ensure a streamlined mobile ecommerce experience.

If you’re looking for ways to better optimize your mobile ecommerce store, here’s where to start.

1. Save for later.

There are many reasons why mobile users may not complete a purchase on their phones. It may be they’re checking out your store in the middle of a busy work day and don’t have time to make a decision. More frequently, they don’t want the bother of entering their credit card information into their phone.

To avoid this issue, mobile ecommerce stores should offer a “save for later” option that allows users to easily pick up their shopping where they left off. This also means they should be able to complete a purchase on the desktop, even if they began it on their phones.

2. Auto-complete.

Many users may prefer to complete a transaction on the desktop, but you should still make it as easy as possible for them to do so from their phones. Since many users now have their credit card information stored on their phones, you can offer auto-complete options for users who don’t want to type it all in. This ads convenience, and expedites the check-out process.

3. Product filters.

With so many products and such limited screen space, users can struggle to find what they’re looking for on mobile. Product filters are important for any ecommerce store, but they’re especially important on mobile. Without them, users would have a difficult time discovering relevant products, and my never find what they’re looking for.

4. Clean navigation.

I’m usually against hamburger menus on desktop sites, but they are helpful for mobile due to the limited screen space. If you find your navigation menu is too complex or bulky to easily fit into a mobile screen, you may need to work with some design and development experts to find a more user-friendly solution. Also consider implementing breadcrumb navigation so your users can easily work their way back.

5. Easy-to-view images.

If your visitors are viewing image on their phones, those images need to be easy to expand, rotate, and zoom in on. Think about you how your product gallery works, and test it on mobile to make sure it is easy to enter and exit.

6. Generous click padding.

Because of the limited screen space, some websites fall into the trap of shrinking on-screen elements to create more space. Unfortunately, this makes those elements hard to click on, which can cause frustration and user errors. Instead, do the opposite. Give your elements space to breath, and pad the area around clickable areas so that users can select them easily.

7. Customer reviews.

You may have customer reviews on your site, but where do you locate them? Are they easy to find and read? How about for mobile users?

Customer reviews are critical selling points for your users. A starred review underneath the product listing followed by fuller reviews below the product description can be an excellent way to include reviews in an accessible, user-friendly way.

8. Product descriptions.

Users are hungry for information about your products. However, if you’ve only ever looked at them on your desktop site, you may not realize if some description areas are dense or hard to read. Take a look at the formatting of the product description setting, and find ways to organize the information so that it’s easy to scan on a smartphone.

9. FAQs and a returns policy.

Your ecommerce store should always have these as a sign of good faith for the user. However, in your mobile store, these need to be easy to access and easy to read. Don’t include your returns policy as a downloadable PDF that users will need to zoom in on to read.

A few mobile ecommerce pitfalls to avoid:

By including the above features you should be pretty well set. However, there are a few other mistakes you could make, even if you do everything else right:

  • Intrusive banner ads. With space at a premium on your mobile phone, any banner ad or promotion will take up extra screen space. Make sure to test all your banners on mobile to see that they’re not overwhelming.
  • Pop-ups that take over user experience. Some of my most frustrating mobile experiences have involved banner ads on mobile sites that took up so much of the screen, I couldn’t even exit the ad to continue my visit.
  • Multi-tiered menu navigation. Navigation menus that are more than one or two tiers deep are difficult to use on desktop, let along mobile. If you need this many tiers, you aren’t using your product filters effectively.

Making your ecommerce website mobile friendly may seem like a big task, but any qualified developer should take these points into consideration when designing your website. If you’ve gone the route of using a premade template, be sure to check it for a fully responsive design. And if you need to bring your mobile e-commerce web development to the next level, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Related Articles