A mobile-friendly Magento store isn’t a competitive advantage anymore, it’s the new status quo. With searches performed on mobiles outnumbering those done on desktops since 2015, customers are no longer pleasantly surprised when a site renders well on mobile, that’s just what they expect. In fact a 2012 Google survey found that 61% of people were likely to leave a site if it wasn’t mobile-friendly. Imagine what this number’s like now.

 

So how can you tell if your eCommerce store is optimised for viewing on mobile devices? Clear signs that a site is designed with mobile users in mind are it being:

  • Fast loading
  • Easy to navigate
  • Light on text
  • Having large buttons
  • Featuring prominent call to actions

 

In addition, Google has provided this handy tool that will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly.

Still not convinced that optimising your Magento store for mobiles is a top priority? Let’s take a look at the benefits of having one…

 

The benefits of a mobile-ready Magento store

 

1. Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites

In April 2015, almost 2 years ago now, Google’s algorithm changed to include mobile-friendliness as one of its search parameters. In short, this means that sites that are optimised for mobile devices sites rank better than those which aren’t. We don’t need to spell out what this means for you in terms of lost traffic, conversions and revenue.

Research has proven that people regularly use the mobile channel to explore available products before making a purchase decision, whether on the same device, a laptop or physically in store. However, different search results are shown for those Googling on their mobiles compared with those on their desktops to ensure more relevant results.

If your site isn’t accessible to those browsing on their phones, then it likely won’t be seen by them. With 57.5% of eCommerce traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, it’s crucial to get your foot in the door with this audience ASAP.

 

2. First impressions spread around

Think of a shop with a beautiful storefront, display window and all. Now compare that with a bunch of people trading out of their derelict garage. Who would you trust more with your financial information?

The same goes for online stores. If your eCommerce site isn’t rendering well on someone’s phone, you’ll lose the credibility needed for people to feel safe doing business with you. No one wants to be zooming in and swiping around just to read the text on your page.

Now add social media to the mix. Everyone on the Internet is linked and consumers are quick to share their experiences with a store – good or bad. Even back in 2011, 57% of people asserted that they wouldn’t recommend a company that had a badly designed mobile site. And now with a whopping 92% of US 18-35 year olds owning a smartphone, that’s too many potential customers to risk losing by making a bad first impression.

On the other hand, if your site is intuitive to navigate and allows for a smooth transaction process, customers will remember this for the next time they shop, and might even share their great experience with their social circles, benefitting you with some word of mouth promotion.

 

3. Fast loading pages convert

People on their mobiles are often on the go, looking for immediate information. You know the feeling – your phone never leaves your hand but you can never seem to find enough time to even check an email. Your customers are the same, with life throwing them more distractions than a kid in a toy store.

This means you’ve got to engage them immediately with the information they want, otherwise they’ll bounce to the next best site. Stats telling you that 40% of people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load can be confronting, but are also a great wake up call. In addition, the higher your bounce rate, the worse your site will appear in Google’s eyes which then negatively impacts your ranking.

This is where mobile-optimised landing pages come in. A well-designed mobile landing page can maximise conversions by getting straight to the point with clear branding, USPs, and eye-catching visuals that all encourage action. Users on mobiles aren’t content to sit back and wait for large pictures to load and to click through page after page to find what they’re looking for, they only want pertinent information and pages designed so if they leave to send a quick text they can come back and immediately continue where they left off.

Every pitch is an elevator pitch in this oversaturated market so a mobile-optimised site is the best way to make your time with a customer last.

 

4. Mobile users are purpose-driven

Being mobile-friendly isn’t just about shrinking your site to fit on a phone screen, but rather it’s about fully understanding the changed environment and mindset that your customers are in. Not only are mobile users, for lack of a better word, impatient, they’re often action-oriented. Visitors to your site are there for a reason and a lot of the time, that’s because they want information on the stores around them.

The modifier “near me”, as in ‘restaurants near me’, is ever popular in Google searches cos people want to take advantage of the GPS in their smartphones to find local businesses that can fulfil their needs. Don’t think of online and offline separately – someone could look you up on their mobile and if your site easily yields the right information, they could very well drop into your physical store to check out the items they’re interested in.

Keep things like this in mind when designing your mobile optimised Magento website by providing visitors with clear calls to action such as a map to your closest physical store, opening hours, and functional features like a button that will have their phone call yours immediately.

 

Where to go from here

So now you’ve realised that optimising for mobiles is essential in this day and age, but you don’t know where to begin.

The first step is to use the ever-trusty Google Analytics to assess your current customer base and their behaviour. By looking at your mobile bounce rate on individual pages, you can get a feel for how mobile-friendly each page of your site is and how much you need to change. Is your checkout page the issue? The fix could be as easy as cutting down on text fields to make it easier to fill out. Regaining lost business has never been this simple!

If the problems are more pervasive than this, then it’s high time to jump on the mobile-friendly bandwagon. Before, companies used to make an entirely new site just for mobiles and put an ‘m.’ in front of the URL (m.facebook.com anyone?), but having 2 copies of every page is bad from both a content management and SEO point of view as duplicate content is penalised by Google.

What all the cool kids do now is use a ‘responsive web design’ where you have one site that is coded to adapt to the screen size of the user. With a plethora of responsive Magento themes available and plug-ins like Mobify, you’ll be well on your way to a fully mobile-ready site in no time!

Want to go one step further and make your mobile pages load almost instantaneously? Check out the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. Designed to optimise both the content and users’ experience, AMP is an open-source framework that has gained widespread popularity with news publishers, which isn’t a surprise as articles that are quick to load ensure that people consume more. Not only that but a faster loading page will provide you with that universally desirable SEO ranking boost.

By building on existing online technologies, AMP HTML pages are compatible with all major browsers and devices. Using AMP, The Washington Post experienced an 88% improvement in load times compared with their previous mobile web pages, which then had significant benefits for their retention rate. With these kinds of results, AMP pages are here to last so get them on your Magento store now!

 

Mark Binns is Digital Marketing Manager at acidgreen, a Magento Enterprise and Google Premier Partner specialising in eCommerce.

acidgreen is a multi-award-winning eCommerce agency that offers premium eCommerce design, Magento development, digital marketing and Magento support services.

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