This year, IBM has predicted that 15 percent of Americans will use mobile devices for their holiday shopping via Coremetrics benchmarking. With phones getting smarter, ipads and tablets being used more heavily, and many people on the go all around, mobile devices are going to be helping people more than ever with their holiday shopping this season. Is your mobile site optimized to create the best experience for your visitors this season? It is difficult enough to optimize your standard site, and mobile devices add even more frustration. You have to deal with small screen size, short time frames, and all the distractions that are going on as your prospect navigates your mobile site. Following are a few tips to help you optimize your ‘on the go’ site experience this season.
1. Look at Your Data
Do not waste your time or resources if your data says less than 5% of your traffic comes from mobile sources. You have more important things to be working on! Leave your mobile optimization for next year. If you have a good amount of mobile traffic, what are you waiting for? This should be a priority for you. Remember, even if 20% of your traffic is mobile, you should use your resources to focus on an early and middle stage experience. It is less likely that your visitors are going to be entering their credit card information on their phones than at home on their computers.
2. Optimize your Copy
We all know you have to cut the s*** with web copy. Consider this even more important with mobile devices. People read very few blocks of text on their smart phones. Your copy needs to be edited down to the bare minimum of what you are trying to communicate. Imagine every block of text as something that could be retweeted on Twitter. Front load your copy so that if your message is delivered in the first line. Don’t try to draw people in with leading copy. There is no time for that in the mobile world.
3. Scale Down Content
A big problem we see with mobile sites is that they are just a very tiny version of your regular site. The landing page of your mobile site should include only the elements you show about the fold on your normal site. These include the most important, persuasive, and helpful content. Elements to include are a unique value proposition, straightforward navigation, and a clear call to action.
4. Trash Flash
A large number of mobile devices do not support flash. If you do not make a separate site for your mobile users, and you are using flash creative on your normal site, at least substitute the flash content out for something else on your mobile site. There is nothing worse than looking at an IPhone that says ‘plug-in not found.’ There are several packages freely available which perform this detection for you or you can use the tools built into Flash.
5. Speed Up Load Times
Mobile devices have significantly slower speeds than the average transfer rates on your prospects desktops. Make images as small as possible, no one can view high resolution on their phones anyway. Make sure your text is encoded before video or images to be sure your visitors will receive the content of your site as quickly as possible, even if your creative takes some time to load.
6. QR Codes
With gift certificate sales on the rise during the holiday season, you should offer QR codes. This makes it easier for you gift givers because they can e-mail a gift certificate and it never has to be printed. QR codes have worked great this holiday already for airline boarding passes. They save everyone a lot of trouble and make gift giving easier over the holidays. There are many programs out there to create QR codes. Implement them now for the holiday season!
What have you been doing to optimize your mobile site throughout the year? Do you find people converting via their cell phone? Do you think they look to your site on mobile devices most often to find where you have a brick and mortar location? How do you see mobile devices changing the activity of your site in the future? We’re always here for your mobile site if it needs some love this holiday.