Jamie Walsh, Copywriter & Content Support
The key to continued and repeated success in your ecommerce sales is to ensure your customers get an engaging and memorable buying experience. That’s why it’s vital to provide a consistently good service for customers who may decide to browse and shop through a variety of different devices.
On the whole, customer experiences aren’t tied to a single device any more. Instead, consumers may use a desktop or laptop at home, switching over to a phone or tablet when out and about. The widespread use of smaller, portable devices to make purchases online has influenced the strategies of many retailers to provide a smooth and reliable experience across the board.
Making sessions smooth, speedy and hassle-free across all devices is vital for improving your conversion rates and reducing basket abandonment. In today’s competitive ecommerce market, the need for a positive shopping experience dictates the way your business needs to engage with customers.
To make sure you gain and maintain that competitive edge, you need to consider the wants, needs and general browsing habits of your target consumers. While websites have traditionally been designed with desktops in mind, focus in recent years has shifted towards a more ‘mobile-first’ approach.
Today, more than 50% of visits to ecommerce stores take place on mobiles – a considerable amount of potential custom that you risk easily turning away with a poor browsing experience. Customers value ease of service and immediacy, making mobile-first the ideal focus when presenting a new user experience.
Retooling a desktop experience to suit smaller devices often means that a lot of cuts and compromises have to be made. Building for mobiles early on lets you focus on what’s most important to your customer journey, before expanding outwards for desktop users wanting to take a more traditional approach to browsing and buying.
Appealing to all visitors
Whatever the device, a poor customer experience can lead to basket abandonment and even put somebody off for good. The diversity of potential browsing methods highlights the importance of catering to everyone.
When designing for mobile, it can be very easy to take your eye off the ball when it comes to the desktop experience, and vice versa. There’s certainly a lot to think about – especially when it comes to the finer details – in order to create a web service that offers instant and smooth access to all manner of visitors on various platforms.
Whether the website’s design is responsive or adaptive, there are certain aspects of mobile browsing that can alienate desktop users. Clean and simple presentation on mobile can come across quite sparse and empty on a larger view, while space saving icons appear out of place on a desktop where text labels may be more useful.
Etsy is a key example
Earlier this year, Google conducted analysis to identify ‘mobile masters’ by looking at some of the most visited websites globally for user-friendliness on smaller devices. Coming out on top in the retail sector was the arts and crafts marketplace, Etsy.
Leading the way in Etsy’s mobile friendliness is the search and filter functionality. A prominent search bar at the very top of the screen offers a strong prompt to help shoppers find what they want without having to hunt through various categories. Offering predictive search terms in real time with each letter typed makes this process even speedier and more direct.
Menu navigation is the longer way to go about finding specific products, however it offers users more of a chance to explore the wide variety of items Etsy’s marketplace and individual sellers have to offer. Additional features like a wishlist, customer reviews and contacting individual sellers are implemented subtly and effectively so they’re not easily missed.
The site also allows for a guest checkout to reduce length sign-up procedures – a considerable factor in basket abandonment issues on mobile. Alongside this, one-click sign-ups through a Google or Facebook account reduce the need for additional steps in the process.
When ready to buy, a simple three-stage checkout screen for Shipping Details, Payment Details and Final Review & Order keeps things succinct and simple. Each of these steps is self-contained in a single screen, meaning the user doesn’t have to scroll down to see lots of form fields.
Etsy is extremely friendly to shoppers on smaller devices, but the overall shopping experience also translates well to larger desktop browsers. Ultimately, this makes it a positive all-round experience for all users however they browse the site.
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