Use Simplicity to Drive Mobile Success

Neil McKay

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, mobile browsing has far surpassed desktop browsing as the primary means of accessing the internet. Statista reports that over half of global website traffic now comes from mobile devices.

The rise of smartphones has revolutionized the way consumers shop online and forced e-commerce businesses to adopt a “mobile first” mentality. Given this, it’s important to understand that users engage with mobile differently than they do desktop, including performing product research while they’re on the go. It’s also becoming more common for users to complete purchases using a mobile device.

All of this is changing the way eCommerce businesses should view their websites, presenting both an opportunity and a challenge. Specifically, how can you optimize your mobile website to maximize conversions?

The key lies in simplicity: A streamlined, user-friendly mobile website can significantly enhance the user experience, leading to higher conversion rates.

Why Simplification Leads to Higher Conversion Rates

A simple and intuitive mobile website design enhances and fosters a positive user experience. When users can navigate effortlessly and find what they need without confusion, their satisfaction increases, often leading to a purchase decision.

Conversely, a complex or cluttered mobile site can overwhelm users and increase their cognitive load. Simplification helps make the buying process straightforward, thus encouraging conversions. A clean, professional mobile website design also instils trust among users, who are more likely to enter payment details on a site that looks and feels reliable.

A simplified mobile website design also caters to the unique needs of mobile users who are often on the go and seeking quick information. This leads to a higher likelihood of conversion.

Strategies for Simplifying Your Mobile Website

Here are five strategies to simplify your mobile website design and boost conversions:

1. Embrace a Minimalist Design

When it comes to designing mobile websites, less is more. A clutter-free interface with ample white space enhances readability and navigation.

For an online jeweller in the UK, we focused on simplifying the product details page (PDP) by only displaying essential information to avoid overwhelming users. We started by looking at what elements users interact with the most and asked users what was the most important information they needed to make a buying decision. Based on the responses, we reprioritized the content on the PDP.

For example, we reduced the size of product name headers and deemphasized some content that wasn’t as important to users while prioritizing other information, such as product badges and customization features. The result was a 2.14% increase in conversion rate, which resulted in an annual revenue increase of £684,000.

An online home furnishing retailer’s customers were struggling with product availability. They were sourcing products on the PDP but then finding out the products weren’t available when they went to check out. To fix this, we highlighted which products were in stock right next to the call to action (CTA) so customers didn’t get frustrated due to a lack of availability. This resulted in a 2.98% increase in the conversion rate and a £160,000 annual revenue increase.

Part of minimalizing design is optimising your mobile website for speed. For example, make sure your pages load quickly by optimizing images and reducing unnecessary scripts. A fast and responsive design will keep users engaged and reduce bounce rates.

2. Simplify Navigation

Customers want to be able to flip through all the different products and categories on their mobile device, but if there are too many, it becomes overwhelming, especially when you consider the limited space on a mobile device.

A straightforward, easy-to-access menu will help users find what they’re looking for without getting overwhelmed. This is a powerful way to get users to take the next step on their journey to buying a product.

An online appliance retailer had lots of different versions of a product and listed them all on their website, but this made navigation difficult. We stripped it down to just four product types to simplify navigation and reduce confusion and added product images for reference. This resulted in a 4.5% increase in the conversion rate and a £1,700,000 annual revenue increase.

Also make your CTA buttons prominent and easy to find. It can be easy for this button to get lost on the PDP page. Your goal should be to make the CTA button “sticky” so it is always visible to users and they don’t have to look for it. We did this for a UK retailer, who experienced a 5.4% increase in the conversion rate and a £761,000 annual revenue increase.

3. Streamline the Checkout Process

The checkout process should be simple and intuitive, asking users to complete as few steps as possible to make a purchase. Don’t ask unnecessary questions: Your goal should be to minimize the decisions customers must make and the thinking they must do during checkout.

A fast fashion retailer was offering multiple delivery options, which slowed users down as they stopped to think about it. We pre-selected a default delivery option so customers didn’t have to think about this if they didn’t want to. This resulted in a 7.9% increase in the conversion rate and a £430,000 annual revenue increase.

When it comes to checking out as a member or guest, be sure to make guest checkout easy. Given a choice, most customers don’t want to have to register and create an account to check out. In fact, user sentiment toward brands decreases if a guest checkout option isn’t offered, and users are less likely to complete a purchase.

A UK retailer had a guest checkout but it was less prominent and hidden beneath the fold. We made it more prominent and pushed it above the fold, which resulted in a 3.5% increase in the conversion rate and a £378,000 annual revenue increase.

4. Streamline and Simplify Form Fields

Ask only for the essential information that’s needed to complete a purchase in order to reduce user fatigue. And be sure that form fields are easily clickable with a finger. Also, popup keyboards should correspond to the information being requested (e.g., if you’re asking for a phone number, don’t have a letter keyboard pop up).

A UK retailer had multiple options on their sign-in page, such as new customer, returning customer, etc. We stripped all of this down, removing the clutter and rewording the call to actions. This resulted in a 4% increase in the conversion rate and an annual revenue increase of £3,900,000.

5. Leverage Mobile-Specific Features

For example, most mobile devices enable click-to-call so it’s easy for users to make a phone call to retailers. Most devices today also have GPS, which can be used to deliver personalized local content.

For an outdoor furniture retailer, we built a local weather forecast into the mobile website so customers could see when the weather would improve. This helped drive urgency to make a purchase — for example, by telling customers if they ordered furniture today, it would arrive in time for the nice weather. This resulted in a 28% increase in the conversion rate.

It’s Not Just About Aesthetics

Simplifying your mobile website is not just about aesthetics. It’s a strategic move to enhance the user experience and boost conversions. By focusing on these five strategies, you can create a mobile website that both attracts and retains customers, leading to increased conversions and business growth.

Remember: In the world of mobile eCommerce, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

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