Why Your E-Commerce Site Needs to Focus on Mobile This Holiday Season

mobile-conversationAs the holiday season approaches, you can be sure that your customers are making their shopping lists and checking them twice—and using their mobile devices to do so.

This year, more and more shoppers will be sourcing products, searching for user reviews, and completing their purchases directly from their smartphones, with mobile sales projected to total $104.05 billion in the U.S.

But there is a flip side to this huge opportunity to influence shoppers from the palm of their hand: using their mobile devices, shoppers have the ability to find information, and thus be influenced by it, at any stage of the buying cycle. This is why it is critical for your e-commerce site to have a strong and functional presence on mobile this holiday season.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile search, or if you don’t have a mobile advertising strategy for attracting potential customers in place, you’re missing out on the chance to help your holiday shoppers find you. Below are best practices for mobile e-commerce sites to use this holiday season to optimize for smartphone shoppers and drive traffic to your site:

Design Your Mobile E-Commerce Site Using Best Practices

There’s nothing more frustrating to a shopper than coming across a mobile site with a poor design and limited functionality. Mobile users have learned how to quickly determine if a site won’t adapt to their device, and Google has helped to expedite this process by launching its “mobile-friendly” label.  This shows a user instantly whether a search result is worth their click, and illustrates what Google considers best design practices for mobile sites, including:

  • Responsive design: Does your website automatically adapt to different devices and screen sizes?
  • Mobile-friendly font size: Is the text on your mobile site easy to read without users having to increase its size?
  • Mobile-friendly link spacing: Are the links on your site spaced well enough to accommodate the touch of a finger (as opposed to the click of a mouse)?

To get that “mobile-friendly” label for your site, ensure it meets the criteria Google is looking for by testing its pages on their Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

Optimize for Search Engine Rankings

When a shopper searches the web via their phone, their intent and willingness to take action is likely different than it would be were they using a desktop. The shopper is more likely to act on their search immediately, whether it’s dining at the restaurant they found had great reviews or heading to the location of a store selling the product they searched for. Mobile shoppers are even less likely to look beyond the first page of search results, so making sure your site shows up there is critical.

Along with its identifying label, Google released a new ranking algorithm designed to boost mobile-compatible pages in its search results.  Google does a thorough review of your site to make sure it includes none of the following:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS, and image files
  • Faulty redirects
  • Unplayable content
  • Slow loading pages

Read Google’s guide on Mobile-Friendly Websites to ensure that your site checks off all of its requirements and best practices for mobile search ranking.

Help Your Customers Find You With Mobile Ads

The days of interruptive banner ads and annoying pop ups are over as mobile advertising has become more creative and personalized towards its viewers.. eMarketer projects that the industry will break $100 billion by next year, and with so much money being put into mobile ads, it’s important to make the most out of your investment. Note these best practices when creating your own:

  • Utilize ad targeting tools and geo-location to ensure that your ads are being seen by your ideal customers
  • Offer compelling incentives to shoppers, such as rewards and coupons
  • Determine the social channels your customers are most prevalent on and create mobile ads for that channel in line with its unique “personality”
  • Looking to remarket to previous visitors to your site? Use Facebook mobile ad remarketing to target those who have abandoned a shopping cart or visited a specific product page, and recapture their attention

Keep these best practices in mind to optimize your mobile e-commerce site for shoppers this holiday season.

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