Ecommerce

6 Ways to Optimize Your Ecommerce Platforms for Smartphone Users

Rahmi Ozcan, London, UK

These days, it is becoming increasingly rare to see someone out and about without a smartphone in hand.

Long gone are the days when cell phones were seen as simple communication devices, portable telephones meant for making and receiving phone calls (and perhaps the occasional text message).

Today, people rely on their smartphones for everything, from booking accommodations while traveling abroad to making banking transactions on the go. 

Smartphones have also become one of the fastest growing areas for eCommerce.

For businesses of any size seeking to reach a key audience with marketing and eCommerce strategies, it is important to understand the way that customers are interacting with products and platforms. 

Exploring the possibilities presented by mobile phone eCommerce transactions, also known as mCommerce, is key – mCommerce interactions already make up more than half of all eCommerce transactions.

Businesses can connect more directly with their prospective customer base through interactions on social media, via email newsletters, and on specific retailer Apps. 

Let’s take a look at 6 key factors and strategies to consider as you hone your eCommerce platforms to suit smartphone users.

 

1. Market to Your Target

In order for customers to successfully navigate around your website or mCommerce platform, they will have to find you first.

So make sure you are effectively marketing your company’s products and services to reach your relevant target audience. 

Consider how and where a potential customer or client might come across your business and the products you offer.

If your marketing strategy relies heavily on social media posts, like Instagram or Youtube, then start from the beginning.

What would someone search for, or what kinds of related content would they seek out, that could lead them to your site? 

Consider the specific niche that your service fills, and do some research to hone your content towards a particular target audience. Consider the age, hobbies, habits, locations, and preferences of your ideal audience. 

With Instagram, Youtube, and App-based marketing, your customers should be able to access your products and services with ease, directly from the initial point of contact.

Which leads us to the next step to consider… your customer’s flow. 


2. Consider the Customer’s Perspective

One of the best ways to make sure your products and services are easily accessible to smartphone users is to step into your customer’s shoes.

Do a test run from the very beginning.

Try to search for similar or relevant products or social media posts, and see how easily you encounter your own company.

Then move through the entire customer transaction process, from the initial discovery to after the order is complete. 

Appoint a colleague to place a test order. Using them as your test subject, look out for any potential flaws or complications in the order process.

You want your mCommerce transaction to be as easy, seamless, and uncomplicated as possible, so smartphone users can quickly press “Place Order” with no glitches or technical difficulties.

The process should be as easy as pressing a button.


3. Clear and Concise Product Descriptions

Smartphone users often scroll through their apps and social media feeds while they are en route to doing something else – waiting in line at the grocery store, riding in a taxi, or having a mid-afternoon coffee, for example.

So your best customers may also be those with the shortest attention spans. Tailor your product offerings and descriptions of the services you provide to that brief time window. 

Present information that is clear, concise, and visually appealing.

Smartphone users should be able to quickly absorb and process just what it is you are offering them.

Include simple descriptions, with size dimensions, color options, a brief summary of what the product is, and where and how to buy.

You may also want to consider how to boost your SEO with carefully worded product descriptions that can help increase your visibility online. 


4. Choose Images That Tell A Story

With so much visual stimulation and information available at their fingertips, most smartphone users have a well-developed sense of what kind of visual imagery appeals to them.

So your product images and website design are also important here. 

Just from quickly perusing your page or website, prospective customers will already form an impression that informs how much they think your products are worth, how reliable and trustworthy your services are, and what category your products belong in.

Are you offering a once in a while luxury gift item, an eco-friendly alternative to an everyday product, or unique, handcrafted household goods? 

The photos you choose and the way you present them will tell your customers an entire story about your company and brand.

Entice viewers with photos and short interactive videos that share what your company does, what it is all about, and where it fits into the broader marketplace.

Just make sure your visuals are telling the story you want to tell. 


5. Test For Phone Formats

As you prepare your website and social media imagery for the public, it is crucial that you are continuously testing out each update and post for smartphone compatibility.

Some things may look fantastic on a big screen, but the formatting necessary for the same image or page to load on a smartphone can contort your images or make details harder to see. 

Always preview your posts and product listings on a smartphone to be sure they have scaled correctly.

If you have ever eaten at a restaurant with a digital menu, you know how frustrating it can be to try to zoom in on details and scroll through descriptions that run off the end of the screen.

Avoid this mistake by testing out photos, videos, and text updates on your phone first. 


6. Easy Payment System

One of the benefits for businesses that are able to attract mCommerce customers is that customers who make purchases on their smartphones are likely to return and become repeat loyal customers.

Once a customer has reached the final stage of the process, after browsing, selecting, and customizing their options, make sure your online payment system is extremely easy to navigate. 

Offer customers the option of auto saving their information or creating an account, so they can log in and make purchases more easily the next time.

Create a payment system that is appropriate for mCommerce customers. Try to minimize the number of forms customers need to fill out, while maximizing the amount of information they can choose to auto-fill. 

Where possible, offer customers multiple payment method options, from Google Wallet to PayPal to ApplePay.

The more quickly and easily customers are able to select their items, click “Order”, and receive the payment confirmation, the more likely they are to become repeat customers, and share your services across their networks. 

 

Traveling With Your Customers

With a sizable following of mCommerce customers, your business benefits in new ways.

Now customers have the opportunity to make purchases and interact with your business from wherever they are, which means more possibilities to make a sale. 

Just make sure you keep the specifications of smartphones in mind, emphasizing and perfecting an easy system of navigation and fast payment processing.

That way, for customers browsing their smartphones, placing an order with your company will be a zero stress transaction.

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