Getting Your Online Store Ready for Mobile Customers with BobWP
WP eCommerce Show

00:00 / 08:33

We all know the growth around people accessing the web via mobile. As far as your online store, you are not exempt from this trend. In fact, more people are shopping online with their smartphones and tablets than ever before.

In episode 29, I chat about the big picture and the importance of making sure your shop is ready for customers 24/7, so you can capture and convert your mobile customers.

In this show:

  • Understanding the mobile user
  • The importance of a mobile-friendly design
  • Making the right information front and center
  • Optimizing your product images
  • Making the process quick by removing the barriers


Hey, everyone, and welcome to episode 29. Bob Dunn here, also known as BobWP on the web. As we  take on new a chapter with the podcast today by talking all things WordPress and eCommerce, we have some great this will interviews lined up for you beginning next week, and a very cool series that I will talk more about at the end of the show. But for today I wanted to just chat a bit about mobile. And share with you a few thoughts. As we all know people are buying more and more online using their smartphones. It’s a given fact.

Having done a bit of research, I found that the numbers vary, but most say at this point between 45 and 50 percent of all eCommerce traffic is accounted for by mobile. And with these numbers,  it’s showing more people are using those devices, smartphones, pad, etc vs laptops and desktops.

Also it’s noted in several articles that yes, weekdays are where you typically see the largest peaks in computer-based traffic, but eCommerce sites are also visited more on the weekends.

Now with all these facts, it’s definitely good news for store owners. But the key here is are you prepared to take advantage of this growing market? From my experience, I still see a lot of online stores that just don’t work well on mobile. And in reality, that could be a killer for you. And with the extent of ease that online makes with the global market, you need to make sure those products and services are accessible and ready to buy 24/7.

With that said, refining your strategies and optimizing for mobile will allow to you to make sure that your customers’ needs are being met. Also, with these, you will improve your brand recognition and increase the loyalty of your customers. Even more importantly, we know Google tends to like mobile-friendly sites, which of course will help you get better search engine rankings compared to those who are not ready for all those shoppers searching via their smartphones.

Where do you start? First, by looking at the mobile shopper. Mobile customers are mindful. They are in the moment and want to buy quickly and be done with it. You need to keep their attention all the way till the end of order placement.

In the same note, they are pretty darn impatient. It’s all about finding exactly what they need now, with as few clicks as possible, or else buh bye to your site.

We also need to understand that they are distracted. When they are on mobile, often it involves multitasking. What you need to do is to remove any distractions on your site so they can focus on what they need and can buy. This includes completing the transaction easily. You see, 2 out of 3 users who add items to their shopping cart abandon it, and mobile stats can even be higher on abandonment. One article I read put the conversion rates 70% lower than on desktops.

Make sure you offer multiple ways to pay, be clear about the shipping costs and consider giving a small discount at checkout if appropriate. A single-page checkout will certainly help those cart abandonment issues as well.

Now that we have talked about that user, let’s look at some tips to help you capture and convert those customers.

If you are using WordPress, a mobile-responsive theme is a great start. With the adaption to screen size, the text and images will fit and stack content in a way to make it easier for your customers to see what they are doing. And on many of these themes, it also keeps the content organized in a logical sequence. If you can’t change to a responsive theme for some reason, there are plugin options. One thing I would like to mention as we are talking about plugins, is many of them that deal with ads, social share buttons, etc, give you settings to hide specific options on mobile. So take that into consideration as well.

Another tip is making sure the right information is front and center. I remember when I was doing a site way back for a towing service. They wanted to change their site because of the mobile issue. The theme wasn’t going to be changed, so a plugin was our only option. But when I set it up they were really bummed about all the disappearance via mobile of the photos they had on their homepage showing different images of their trucks, towing cars, etc. In fact, when they called it up it was as simple as text saying what area they service and their phone number. Again, they wanted to know what happened to their beautiful site.

So we had to chat. I gave them this typical situation. I am driving alone at night. There is a huge snow storm. Unfortunately I slide off the road, and end up in a six foot bank of snow. I’m cold, the weather sucks and I want to get home. When I search on my smartphone for a towing service that can help me, do I care about pretty pictures? Do I need to read the story behind their business? Do I even need to see what their drivers look like. Hell no. I just need to know if they will come where I’m at and then make it easy to call them. It took no further explanation than that.

Remember, lead with the most important information.

On a similar subject, we also need to be careful of our images. Loading time is critical on mobile, just as it is even on desktop. But a bit more so. Too many images that are not optimized can slow down your site. Start with those hi-res, perfect shots and work down from there. Also, ask your host about CDN, which will also help big time.

The next tip falls into something I hear a lot on this show. When I ask people what their biggest frustration is when shopping online, a good majority point out the issue of having to create an account to purchase a product. We all know how this feels. You are ready to buy, then it comes up, login to your account or create one. Really think this one through and why you are asking them to do this. Sure, in some instances it may be necessary for your site, especially a member-driven site. Or if you are offering deals to people who create an account, make it optional only.

And lastly we will wrap back around to the fact I have touched on. Aim for the quickest possible mobile checkout. This is where you typically will lose the most customers. Don’t put up any barriers. And look at the payment gateway options out there. For example, Amazon payments. It will let your customers use their Amazon account to purchase. And we all know that a heck of a lot of people use Amazon. And they are trusted. So consider anything that will make it easy and quick for people to checkout.

As you can guess, I have just touched the surface on a very broad area. What you can do to align your online shop with the mobile shopping explosions is almost limitless. But with preparation and some solid groundwork, you can snag a portion of this customer subset.

You can expect to hear more detailed shows on specific areas I touched on here in future episodes. In fact, check through our archives and you will already see some great insights and tips that meld easily into the mobile realm.

So that’s today’s show. Next week we are going to be talking social and your online store, with a special guest, and in October, get set for a four-episode series on Mondays, starting the 10th, on security and your online store. This is huge and so important. And I’m bringing in the best in website security for this one.

One last favor to ask. If you like the show or have enjoyed our past episodes, head on over to iTunes and leave us a review. It would really mean a lot to us and also to the success of this show.

Until next week, take care, and we’ll see you again on the WP eCommerce show.