FACT #1: As of right now, most mobile phones in the UK are “smartphones”.
FACT #2: The majority of smartphone owners access the internet on their mobile.
FACT #3: 95% of them use their phone to research a product or service they plan on buying.
Source: Google, May 2012
In just the last 12 months, smartphone penetration in the UK has risen from 30% to 51%. Today, smartphones are the norm.
According to Google / Ipsos OTX Media CT research (May 2012), 59% of smartphone owners are now accessing the internet from their mobile phones on a daily basis, with around a third of users actually completing purchases on their mobile. And these figures are still growing quickly.
It’s no surprise therefore, that UK businesses have woken up to the mobile opportunity and investing in mobile-optimised websites to ensure their customers can interact with their business easily from a mobile device. However, the user experience on many mobile websites is far from perfect.
At the end of this article we present 8 ways to improve your mobile website’s conversion rate. We’ve highlighted some of the biggest mistakes businesses are making with their mobile websites that are guaranteed to stop customers making a purchase on their mobile, and force others to completely give up using some websites at all.
But first, let’s look at the buying cycle and see how mobile users fit into the buying process.
Whenever anyone wants to buy something, they enter a buying cycle that in very simple terms consists of three stages:
eBay has a great mobile website and mobile app. Their users feel comfortable carrying out the full buying cycle on their mobile device. Millions of them do this every day. For many businesses however, focusing on allowing their customers to complete the whole buying process may not be worth the effort. Instead, the focus must be on delivering the content that the mobile user needs to help them progress through just one or two of the buying stages, most likely the research and comparison stages.
Some mobile sites are quite capable of delivering all three stages. Others shouldn’t even try. Not every product can or should be purchased on a mobile phone.
Considering where in the buying cycle your mobile users are placed can be helpful in planning what content to give them.
Before getting into the techniques for increasing your mobile conversion, it’s important to note that the only way to tick off any of the below items as ‘complete’ is to check them on several mobile phones. Don’t just check your site on your iPhone and assume everything will be ok for BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone users. Be aware that different phones bring with them unique challenges that can completely change the user experience.
For example, iPhones have large, bright touch-screens, but no physical keyboard. Android phones come in many different flavours; some with quite small screens, and many have a mixture of physical and virtual buttons. BlackBerry devices tend to have physical keyboards for easy text entry, but many have small non-touch-screens with buttons or wheels to scroll up and down and offer a very different experience to Android and iPhone.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the way your website works on one device will be the same for everyone. The mobile space is complicated with many different devices available. Testing on a range of devices is crucial, which is why here at Tecmark we have a test device cupboard jam-packed with mobile phones and tablets ranging from the first iPhone through to the latest Android and Nokia Windows Phone devices.
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