How Mobile Commerce Impacts Your Decision to Hire a Shopping Cart Web Developer
Surprising Statistics That May Change Your View On Hiring A Shopping Cart Web Developer
Mobile, mobile, mobile… it seems like that’s all you hear about in the eCommerce space these days. Well, I suppose that’s not without good cause as 78% of mobile searches for local businesses result in a purchase. (Greg Sterling @SearchEngineLand)
Wow! We all know that mobile has grown exponentially over the past few years; in fact, mobile’s share of consumers’ time spent on retail shopping was 59% compared to desktop’s 41% as stated by Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights for the internet traffic research firm, comScore Inc.
It’s one thing to know that having a mobile site is a necessity, but what does that truly mean in terms of your online business? Many shopping carts offer free mobile apps and templates; does that mean your problems are solved? Not necessarily.
Most online retailers have found staggering differences between different ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, as well as their templates and responsive themes.
For small to mid-sized business competing online, losing sales to site structure is a very real likelihood.
Why isn’t having a mobile template good enough?
50% of consumers find smartphones more difficult to use than desktops, while 47% find tablets more difficult to use.
Based on these statistics we can easily see that:
Mobile Conversions = Ease of Use + Total User Experience
How A Shopping Cart Web Developer Can Help Improve User Experience
This is where hiring a proven shopping cart developer pays off. The golden rule of online shopping is simplicity, so in the spirit of that I will list out the 3 key areas that a shopping cart web developer can target for improved conversions.
1. Responsive Layout With Mobile Specific Navigation
Navigation is just as important to mobile as it is your desktop site, but that doesn’t mean it should be identical to your desktop’s navigation.
On mobile, provide the user with a direct path to key information such as locations, specials, and account login. Secondary to that should be clear direction to key categories and products.
Pro Tip: Be prepared to convert on a desktop computer as a secondary step. According to a 2012 Google study, 65% of shoppers begin their experience on a smartphone, and 61% of those users continue shopping on a PC to complete the transaction.
That is a lot of potential orders and a small margin of error. Some hosted platforms don’t have the ability to remember customers from one device to the next.
A simple way to make sure you capture consumers making this transition is to use a “wish list” that lets users switch device platforms to view or purchase saved items at a later time. This is a must have, as many consumers require additional time or more information accessible from their desktop before completing the checkout.
2. The Checkout Experience
Having Express Checkout ties directly into that “easy shopping experience” we’ve been talking about.
Many Hosted Ecommerce Solutions such as BigCommerce allow you to manage orders and customer accounts within the admin, but there may be critical items missing from that simple and quick checkout.
A shopping cart web developer can help you integrate a solution that will allow you to securely store customer credit card information for repeat purchases within your existing payment gateway.
A shopping cart developer can also expand the basic checkout functionality to allow you to take phone orders in 1-Touch using automatic product search. Then you can securely store payment information for repeat purchases.
By improving and simplifying the mobile check out process the retailer can dramatically improve mobile conversions.
3. What’s Under the Hood: Proper Coding and Site Speed
Lastly, what people aren’t seeing is just as important as what they are seeing.
Most online retailers can recognize when their store is operating poorly, but only experienced web developers can check for deeper problems that could be holding your site’s potential back.
On the surface, you want to make a good first impression and deliver your brand message.
Ray Loyd had a great tip regarding this over at Experiment Engine, “46% of users report difficulty when interacting with a page; help your customers by placing what they want at the top of your mobile page. Approach this with a 70/30 split – 70% of your page’s best content above the fold and 30% below. This drives your mobile design to be top heavy.”
Aside from helping establish a clean layout optimized for conversion, a cart developer will be able to optimize the code driving your site. Things that both Google and a good web developer will be taking into consideration are:
- Image Size Optimized for Site Speed – many developers are moving to responsive web design for a reason and that is to deliver the best image size for the best device. Responsive design also allows for a more streamlined image load time via CSS.
Pro Tip: You can also use a free downloadable program like ImageOptim to dramatically reduce image size while maintaining quality.
- Minimalism in Code – Often templates for hosted Ecommerce solutions build upon other templates with bulky code and additional clunky plugins and widgets added to that really slow a site down.
Ultimately, top performing online retailers take their customer into consideration during development by making things simple to find and simple to buy. There’s nothing wrong with using a templated theme, but listen to your customer feedback to make honest evaluations on whether you need a professional shopping cart developer to take your store from simply online to a store that’s on top.