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Responsive Design vs. Mobile Site: Mobile Responsive Design Best Practices

If you are ready to create your first eCommerce website, one of the major decisions you need to make is what type of site you need. This generally means that you need to compare the benefits of a responsive design vs a mobile site. There are, however still many eCommerce companies that have two websites – one for desktops and one for mobile devices.

If this is your situation, there are some very good reasons why you should consider opting for one website that’s responsive, rather than maintaining two different sites. We’ll cover this topic first, then move onto discussing mobile first designs promoted by Google and why this approach is the best responsive design for mobile and tablets for 2020 and beyond. 

Last, we’ll take a look at some of the mobile responsive design best practices that will help to create better experiences for shoppers.

Responsive design vs mobile site – which is best?

There’s one big difference between a responsive website and a mobile website, and that’s the reason they were created. To put it simply, mobile websites were created specifically to be used on mobile phones. They were designed in response to the increase in smartphones that were being used to access the internet during the late 90s. 

Since then, we have seen a rapid increase in the number and types of mobile devices that are used to access the internet, to such an extent that a mobile website is no longer good enough. That’s because mobile websites are designed to open correctly on only one screen size. If the size of the screen changes, it can’t open correctly in the user’s browser. 

As you can imagine, opening correctly on only one screen size isn’t a viable option for most websites. So as the number and size of mobile screens continue to increase (smartphones, iPads, Android tablets, etc.,) a mobile website is now fairly redundant and if you continue to maintain it, you’ll be missing out on a lot of traffic.

Responsive design for mobile and tablets, also called a mobile responsive website, was developed to fill this gap. They are designed to open correctly on any device, regardless of screen size. They are designed with flexible images and fluid grids that size correctly to fill the screen, regardless of device. So they can be opened and viewed on iPads, smartphones and PCs; you can even resize the browser on your PC and watch as the screen becomes smaller or larger, whilst the contents alter so that they can still be viewed easily.

A well designed mobile responsive design should also be able to detect whether the user is using a touch device, and if so, enable swiping between columns. The benefits of a mobile responsive design that’s also adaptive (changing to suit the type of device not just the size of the screen) are obvious. For businesses, you design one website and it works seamlessly across all devices and for shoppers, they are assured a positive experience on every screen.

The rapid rise in mobile responsive websites was given an even bigger boost by Google who decided to prioritise the user experience (UX). Now that you have a better understanding of the responsive design vs a mobile site debate, let’s take a look at the reasons Google is promoting a mobile first approach to web development. 

Mobile-first – The best responsive design for mobile and tablets

In 2016, Google started experimenting with mobile-first indexing and made it the default for all new websites in July 2019. This means that Google now uses the mobile version of a webpage for ranking and indexing purposes, meaning that Google preferentially indexes the mobile version of your website.

So if you still have two websites, using separate URLs for mobile and desktop versions, Google displays the mobile version to mobile users and the desktop version to desktop users. However, it only indexes your mobile pages. Mobile-first isn’t something you can avoid, because Google wants to provide identical experiences to users of mobile devices and desktop computers. 

This means that content viewed on mobile devices and desktops have the same headings, same structured data and the same content. If you purposely upload less content to the mobile version of your webpages, Google will notice, and you’ll likely experience less traffic to this site. An important point to note, however is that mobile usability isn’t the same as mobile-first indexing. This means that if your site passes Google’s mobile usability test, it doesn’t mean that your pages will display correctly on mobile devices. 

So what you need is a mobile responsive design that changes the content on the screen based on the screen size and the device used, enhancing usability. Key features of a mobile responsive design include dynamic content that changes, condensed navigation, optimised images, correct padding and spacing, and a mobile OS. 

To ensure that users have a positive experience when searching the internet, Google has developed a number of mobile responsive design best practices. These best practices are used by developers to create a website that adheres to a mobile-first approach. This ensures that your customers can use any device to access your website and that Google can easily index and rank your site. 

6 Mobile responsive design best practices

The majority of Google’s best design practices are concerned with creating the same experience on both mobile devices and desktops. Below you will find some of these best practices that help to ensure your website offers the best experiences to your customers.

1. Keep important elements within reach

Most of us hold our mobile phones in one hand and use our thumb to navigate around a web page. This means that you need to keep important elements within reach of the customer’s thumb. These elements include your CTAs (call to actions) and other important links. For example, it’s easier to place the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, as this makes it easier to reach with a thumb.

2. Ensure your main CTA is still visible

Most websites have their main CTA in the navigation bar. For example, ‘Learn More’, ‘Free Quote’, ‘Make an Appointment’, ‘Call Now’, ‘Request a Demo’, and so on. On a mobile phone however, this main CTA is often dropped from the main navigation bar, significantly reducing your conversions. This highlights the importance of designing for a mobile audience first and a desktop second

3. Prioritise layouts for mobile devices

The clear difference between a responsive design for mobile and tablets and a desktop computer is the space that’s available on the screen. On a desktop computer there’s plenty of space to lay out your page, showing different paragraphs, tables, sections and blocks. On a mobile phone however, all of these elements will be stacked on top of one another, creating a very long page. For web pages with few elements, this isn’t a big problem, but for pages with lots of elements, including elements that display new information when the curser is hovered over them, it’s a big problem. These pages will be extremely long, and the hover elements won’t work. This is why we use the mobile first approach and design a website with layouts that suit mobile devices, then adapt these designs for desktop computers.  

4. Use SVG not JPG or PNG images

Images on a responsive website need to be scalable, increasing and decreasing their size whilst keeping the image crisp and clear. That’s why you need to use SVG images (scalable vector graphics) and not JPG or PNG images on your mobile responsive website. SVG files load quickly, helping your site to load faster on a searcher’s browser. Whilst using SVG files is recommended, it’s only available for computer generated graphics, not normal photographs. You can get around this issue by providing your developer with all the resolutions used on mobile devices. Your developer can then ensure that any on-page photographs are exported at the correct resolution, depending on the device. It’s a bit more work initially but pays of in the end.

5. Leverage native hardware

Another of the mobile responsive design best practices concerns the mobile’s hardware. That’s because the hardware on mobile phones can be leveraged by mobile responsive websites to increase the usability of their sites, making it more user friendly and increasing UX. Examples include scanning credit cards, sharing photos on social media, two factor identification and checking inventories online. Your developer can code these types of functionality into your mobile responsive design, whilst making them unavailable on websites that open on PCs. The more user friendly your mobile responsive website, the better your rankings and the greater your traffic. 

6. Don’t use popups on mobile responsive websites

The problem with many popups on webpages is that they detract from the user experience, particularly on mobile web pages, where visitors are unable to read the content until they click on the popup. Google doesn’t like anything that reduces UX, so it can reduce the ranking of pages that use popups. Best practice is to disable popups on all mobile webpages, so if the content of the popup is important, we simply add it to a section of the page. 

For more information on mobile responsive designs for your ecommerce website, call Acid Green on 1300 139 658 or send us an email enquiry.

By Author admin

5 Reasons Why Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate Is Low And How To Improve It

Conversion rate optimisation With the global increase in online shopping, many businesses focus on increasing traffic to their websites. This is both admirable and necessary, but there comes a point when you need to turn your focus from traffic to conversion rates. After all, if your eCommerce conversion rate is low, more traffic isn’t the solution that’s going to fix the problem. 

You may have spent years building your own eCommerce site, but if you can’t convert visitors into paying customers, your efforts need to be redirected. With enough traffic to your site, conversion rates should be good enough to provide a decent profit, but what if this doesn’t happen? How do you improve your eCommerce conversion rate

It’s all about conversion rate optimization best practices, which we will cover in a moment. First, however, we will take a look at conversion rates, so you can decide whether your rate is low, really low or desperate! Next, we will show you how to calculate your conversion rate, so that you can gauge whether any changes you make to your website are actually working. We will then look at five best practices that can be used to increase your conversion rates, followed by a few eCommerce tools that will help you to understand why your conversion rates are so low.

What is a realistic eCommerce conversion rate?

Whilst any achieved goal can be considered a successful conversion (such as email subscriptions, downloaded eBooks or completed surveys), sales are the conversions that most interest eCommerce operators. A realistic conversion rate is around 2%, although in 2015 it was reported that the conversion rate for Amazon Prime members was an amazing 74%! Whilst you might try to aim for the same conversion rates as Amazon, your best strategy is to calculate your website’s conversion rate for the last 12 months and then aim to beat it this year. 

How to calculate your website’s eCommerce conversion rate

The way to calculate your site’s conversion rate is to divide the total number of transactions by the total number of unique visitors to your store, usually in 24 hours. If you want to calculate other conversion rates, for example the rates for email subscriptions, you just substitute the appropriate numbers into the equation. 

You can also calculate conversion rates for different locations and demographics if that’s something that’s important to your marketing strategy. This approach is useful if you want to identify which segments are contributing to your website’s overall conversion rate. For example, you can analyse the conversion rates of first time visitors  compared to repeat visitors, desktops vs mobile phones vs iPads, and organic search vs paid search vs social media. You can also compare conversion rates between product categories, between seasons and for different promotions. It’s important to remember however, that conversion rates need to be compared over time, as one single point in time doesn’t give you enough information for concrete conclusions. Monthly or weekly comparisons are common, but your conversion rate for the last 12 months will give you a good overview of your website’s current ability to convert shoppers. 

If you are lucky, your conversion rates have been increasing over time, but this doesn’t generally happen naturally. More likely, your conversion rates have been static or decreasing over time. So why is this happening and how can you improve your eCommerce conversion rate – whether for your whole website or for a specific product, category or demographic segment?

5 Conversion rate optimization best practices

There are many strategies to increase your conversion rate, but to help make your life easier, here are five best practice options that will provide the biggest impact on your conversion rates.

Streamline online payments 

When a visitor has made the decision to purchase a product from your website, you need to make the transaction process as easy and as short as possible. So give them plenty of options, including PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay, because these payments take much less time to complete than using a credit card. PayPal is a very good option because they have shortened their payment process even further, making it a one-click process. Payments made using cryptocurrency is also another way to improve your ecommerce conversion rate. Essentially, the more payment options and the fewer the number of steps the better, particularly where purchases are made using mobile phones. 

Personalise shopping experiences using new technology

Customers love new technology and they want a personalised shopping experience, so why not give them what they want? A great way to increase online conversions is to use virtual reality where consumers can examine the products before they buy. The novelty of this immersive approach to a consumer’s shopping experience combined with its practicality (because shoppers can’t touch and feel products sold online) offers a high-tech strategy for increasing conversions.  Another of the conversion rate optimization best practices is to use AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning to personalise the customer experience. For example, a contextually relevant site search powered by an AI can provide customers with relevant query suggestions and popular search results on your website. Delivering custom recommendations based on a shopper’s search query can have a very positive impact on your conversion rates. Machine learning can even use predictive algorithms to learn which headings and product page layouts convert best! 

Set up voice commerce  

Voice assistants and smart speakers have an increasing market penetration with many consumers using them for online purchases. If you get this right, you can end up with more sales, conversions and revenue. Voice commerce uses AVR (automatic voice recognition) and NLU (natural language understanding) to interpret a spoken language, helping shoppers to find specific products online. There’s even such a thing as voice search optimisation, linking voice searches with SEO. It’s estimated that nearly 50% of all searches will soon use voice search and with the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa, it’s easy to see how this can happen. In fact Google and Walmart have combined their efforts, so that Google Home Users can now search the Walmart catalogue. Voice ecommerce has a huge range of applications with the potential to significantly increase online your site’s conversions.

Increase trust with user-generated content 

Trust is an important factor for increasing your eCommerce conversion rate and customers trust other customers. They actively search for online reviews and the opinions of other customers. This means that user-generated content, such as online reviews on your product pages, are worth their weight in gold. Apart from simply including a list of reviews at the bottom of each product page, why not include a visual bar graph of customer’s star ratings? You can also include user-generated videos or photos that focus on unpacking or using your products. Don’t forget to add social proof to build trust and boost conversions. This includes social media links, share buttons and logos from other companies that use your products.

Improve product pages

Without a doubt, the product page is where you make or break a sale. There are so many product pages online without any form of product description – just an image, price and size or colour options. This is the page where you need to engage shoppers and persuade them that they need to buy your product. You need to help shoppers imagine how they will feel when they hold your product in their hand and how happy they will be with their purchase. So instead of a bare page or a dry description, write compelling product descriptions with prominent CTAs. 

Ecommerce tools to analyse your conversion rates

Now you know five of the conversion rate optimization best practices that will help to increase your online sales, it’s time to look at some of the tools that can help you understand why your conversion rates are so low. These tools help you to understand how customers interact with your website and how you can use this information to boost your conversion rates. Here are two that are easy to use.

Google Analytics: Most websites use Google Analytics, basically because it’s free. However, most people don’t make the best use this platform, even though it offers a huge amount of data that can help increase your conversions. Information about which devices shoppers’ use to reach your website, how long they remain on different pages, their location, and whether they are new or repeat visitors is all available in Google Analytics. It will even calculate conversion rates for set goals.

Google Analytics View

Mixpanel: The Mixpanel package helps you to convert, engage and retain online shoppers and the starter package is free. It’s used by Uber, Expedia, Shutterfly, Walmart and Twitter, and is designed to help you improve customer experiences on your website. It does this by collecting data, identifying trends, understanding these trends, setting goals and helping you to take action to achieve these goals (increased conversions). In fact, it’s so popular that 50% of Fortune 100 eCommerce sites use Mixpanel, resulting in a 30% increased engagement rate and a 24% increase in user retention. It can help you identify the point of engagement when conversions increase, as well as help you increase shopper loyalty, improve conversions, and learn how shoppers interact with your website.

If you want to improve your ecommerce conversion rate, call acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or send us an email enquiry.

By Author admin

Harness Brand Loyalty: How To Hold Onto Your Customers

How do you convince consumers you’re worth more than just a one-night stand?

In 2018, eCommerce retailers are more than aware of the growing decline in brand loyalty. Fast fashion is thriving, cross-border eCommerce is on the rise and online shopping has never been bigger. However, with the perpetual growth of eCommerce comes a serious dive in customer lifetime value and brand allegiance.

Why?

brand loyalty

Because consumers are no longer limited by choice.

Most online consumers consider themselves internet-savvy or tech-wizards, and the majority are more than happy to spend hours crawling search engines to find the cheapest price or best value for money rather than remain loyal to your brand.

Many brands still fail to encourage brand loyalty because they rarely strategise beyond the initial purchase. Retailers must understand how to use marketing strategies to convert one-time buyers into recurring customers.

So, how can retailers and marketers harness brand loyalty?

Enhance Customer Experience

Consumers shop online based on four key factors:

    • Price
    • Quality
    • Speed

And most importantly…

    • Customer experience

In 2017, it was reported that 89% of businesses compete solely on customer experience.

Monogamy is dead. As a business, you can be in denial about it all you want but the truth is, consumers just do not care about you in that way. They can and will hop on any opportunity to shop elsewhere. However, by making sure you’re the best they’ve ever had, you may just be able to trick them into coming back.

You can do this by including clear and effective CTA buttons, and chatbots that appear as soon as a customer has landed on your site. LivePerson states that 71% of online customers expect help within five minutes.

You can also make sure your site is mobile friendly (in 2018, this is a must) as Google reports, 52% of customers state they are less likely to purchase from a retailer due to a poor mobile experience. The mobile device also offers other customised opportunities that the computer can’t i.e. location-based integration as well as social media, SMS interaction and push notifications.

Provide Total Transparency

95% of unhappy customers share their bad experience (Zendesk). It’s almost impossible to avoid negative reviews entirely. However, brands do have greater ability to control them. Be the first to reach out to your customers to ask them for feedback. Then reward those customers who respond. If they leave a negative review, respond to them publicly and acknowledge a resolution.

Acquiring customer reviews and promoting them throughout your online channels fosters greater trust and transparency, which in turn will aid brand loyalty. Customer feedback is also priceless to your ongoing marketing strategies, as that rich data can greatly inform future decisions and enhance your overall awareness of your brand’s target audience.

Provide Discounts & Loyalty Programs

Don’t be naive. Perform rigorous and constant research on your competitors. Find out exactly what they’re offering and what their differentiators are.

Beyond that, offer exclusive perks to your consumers that will encourage brand loyalty.

A proven method involves utilising loyalty programs. Give your customers free shipping or access to monthly promotions if they create an account or opt-in to receive emails. Enhance the VIP treatment by providing exclusive access to new products, then capitalise on this by requesting feedback.  

These programs don’t need to be designed as a one-size-fits-all, either. Deliver appropriate awards proportionately i.e. according to purchase volume and frequency.

Retailers can also increase brand loyalty by offering points to consumers beyond the purchase point; reward them for simply making it to the checkout page by sending them an abandoned cart email. Slip in a little discount (that only they can access). In 2018, this should be a tactic that all eCommerce stores utilise. In fact, consumers are smart enough to expect it.

Dotmailer reports that both UK (13%) and US (15%) consumers will abandon their shopping carts purely in the hope that retailers will offer a last-attempt discount to win the customer. Even more than that, around a fifth of consumers abandon their carts on multiple websites in order to find the best deal. Though it doesn’t guarantee your cart abandoner will return to complete the purchase, it does mean they’re less likely to go to a competitor because they found a lower price elsewhere.

brand loyalty

Know how to exploit the customer lifecycle; it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.

Greater Personalisation Tactics

Make them feel special. Give them an intimate experience they won’t forget by providing personalised content. More than half of millennial consumers rate personalisation as one of the most important factors when deciding which brand to purchase goods from. This is just another way online stores can encourage brand loyalty; Virtual Incentives suggests that brands who personalise their customer experience are recognised by consumers as smart, unique and caring.

Brands can strengthen their personalisation strategies by implementing marketing automation tools e.g. utilising email marketing personalisation tags that can be added to both the subject line and email body. Promote offers using friendly, informal language:

  • “You might also like…”
  • “We recommend…”
  • “People who bought this, also bought…”

brand loyalty

According to Dotmailer, personal touches don’t just incrementally increase open rates, they also result in up to 6x more online conversions.

Implementing A Brand Loyalty-Centric Strategy 

To be successful in 2018, retailers need to take an unabridged approach to marketing and focus on the entire customer journey. Brands must rise simultaneously with consumer expectations in order to meet demands and consumer requisites. According to Bain & Co, increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% could boost overall profit anywhere from 25% to 95%.

If you’re overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, acidgreen are your reliable, full service digital agency and eCommerce professionals. We use our own comprehensive business intelligence and analytics tools to identify our clients’ most valuable consumers and turn raw data into actionable insights. These insights then help us enhance the customer experience and consequently increase your brand loyalty.

 

acidgreen is an award winning eCommerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.