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e-Commerce Industry News

July 11, 2013
Website optimization is critical to converting mobile shoppers
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July 11, 2013
Having an optimized mobile page can improve conversion rates.

Shoppers' time is valuable, and retailers that don't respect that are at a constant risk of losing sales and perhaps even customers. This has been seen throughout the ages - if people don't receive quick service as they shop, at the point-of-sale or during the returns process, they are likely to think less of the retailer in question.

It shouldn't really come as any surprise then that one of the easiest ways to lose an on-the-go shopper is by have an un-optimized, sluggish mobile website. A new report from Netbiscuits highlights how important it is to have a website that's fine-tuned for customers who prefer shopping via their smartphones and tablets.

The study, entitled "The People's Web Report," found that as many as three-quarters of shoppers (76 percent) will leave a mobile website if that site isn't delivering in terms of load speed and overall ease of use. Considering the fact that as many as 22 percent of Americans spend six hours a day or more on the mobile web, a significant portion of these people are likely to begin their shopping experience on a smartphone or tablet, so it's paramount that merchants have a streamlined home page for these individuals.

Need for speed
Speed is the top priority for customers across the globe, with 41 percent citing load times as the most important factor when using the mobile Web. Of the 10 different markets polled by Netbiscuits, eight said speed was the No. 1 factor that determined the overall quality of their mobile browsing experience.

Speed is a critical factor for securing conversions.
For retailers, the answer is simple: optimize websites for tablets and smartphones. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61 percent) said that faster download speeds of content would increase their satisfaction with the experience. Meanwhile, a separate study from Compuware suggests that even a small delay of one second in load times could lead to a loss of seven percent in conversions.

Operating an omnichannel retail experience can be challenging without the right eCommerce platform supporting the whole initiative. Everything from "shop to ship" is important to creating an enjoyable shopping experience. However, the retail front end - in this case, the mobile website - is often the first point of contact for customers. By offering an optimized mobile site, merchants can maximize their chances of nailing a great first impression with prospective buyers.