If your company’s website is literally your digital storefront, it should be at least as appealing as your brick-and-mortar store. At this point, you might be tired of hearing “this is the year of mobile.” ‘Wasn’t that last year?’ you ask. No, no, we thought it was but this, this is really the year of mobile.
It’s okay to roll your eyes at this point; the mobile message has been beaten to death. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant, so here’s the mobile story one more time, but maybe a little differently than you’ve heard it before.
Imagine a website that isn’t mobile friendly as a physical store. It’s not user friendly and hard to navigate and you can’t find what you need. You’re a shopper, looking for red shoes (for some reason we use red shoes as an example a lot around here). The store has automatic doors, but instead of sliding open gracefully they creep apart while you stand outside waiting. Finally they open and you step inside, but there’s no clear path to walk through.
Displays and mannequins are scattered everywhere and you have to squeeze past them to find your way through the store, ducking under clothing racks. You sit down on the ground, defeated and frustrated. Red shoes should never be this hard to find. Forget it. You get out of there as fast as you can (which isn’t fast enough) and run to the next store.
There, sitting in the window, are your beloved red shoes. You walk in, find your size, and walk toward the checkout where a friendly employee is waiting to help you. On your way there, you find a pair of blue shoes you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. You head home, relieved and satisfied, with a lighter wallet.
Which store do you think gets more sales? The one with all the hurdles, or the one that makes it easy for customers to find what they need (and more)?
You'd never let your physical store be such a mess, so why wouldn't you show the same kind of love to your website? Essentially, this is what happens when mobile visitors get to an unoptimized site. Except unlike my made up story, there’s data to back this up. Here’s how it works in three steps:
1. Improve User Experience
Mobile optimized sites provide better user experience to the approximately 1.2 billion people globally who access the web from a mobile device. User experience could not be more critical for mobile sites. These three stats should make that pretty clear:
- 57% of mobile users will leave a site if they have to wait more than 3 seconds for it to load.
- 30% of mobile shoppers will abandon a transaction if the checkout process isn’t mobile friendly.
- 41% will go to a competitor’s site if they aren’t satisfied with the mobile experience.
So, if you want people to stay on your site, complete transactions, and not leave you for a competitor, you have to make the experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Or at least don’t throw a bunch of mannequins in their way.
2. Improve SEO
A better user experience means more people will stay on your site and check out a few pages. If fewer people are leaving your site right away, your bounce rate will be lower. A lower bounce rate indicates to Google that your site is relevant and useful to searchers, thus your search rank will improve. An improved search rank means more people are able to find your site when looking for products or services you offer, so more people will be using your site. See how that works?
An average bounce rate is about 50%, so if you notice that your mobile bounce rate is significantly higher, it could be due to user experience.
3. Increase Sales
The mobile experience is all about making things simple and hassle-free. If you complete the first two steps, your chances of converting visitors into customers increases substantially. If your site is easier to find because of improved SEO and easier to navigate because of better user experience, visitors will spend more time on your site and looking at your products. By creating a mobile-friendly checkout process, you’ll reduce the likelihood that they’ll abandon their transaction. Taking these steps improves your mobile conversion rates.
Plus, 61% of mobile shoppers say they have a better opinion of brands when their site is mobile-friendly, so they’re more likely to return to your site and continue to do business with you.
Photo Credit: 401kCalculator