Why your eCommerce site should be mobile-first

by Chris Marklew
09 August 2017
Why your eCommerce site should be mobile-first
Have you considered your customer’s user experience when using a mobile device? Here’s why it should be top of mind when building an eCommerce site.

Being online today is often synonymous with using a mobile device, where we are likely to use a tablet or smartphone to socialise, pay bills, compare products, and shop. With an estimated $22.37 billion spent on online retail over the 12 months prior to April 2017, it’s clear a mobile-first approach is especially important for transactional eCommerce sites. That means websites must be designed with multiple contexts in mind to ensure users get a seamless experience, no matter what device they’re on. 

What are the benefits of a mobile-centric approach?

Users demand a fast, concise, and coherent mobile experience, especially when they’re shopping. Research shows that 65% of Australians have browsed eCommerce sites on their smartphones, and nearly two-thirds of under 35s have made purchases using their smartphones. With only seconds to impress, a poorly designed mobile site is often the difference between a sale and a lost customer.
A well-designed mobile experience is far more likely to result in a conversion. It can also increase conversions from existing mobile traffic. Even Google favours mobile – its search index prioritises responsive sites, ranking them based on their mobile experience. With poor mobile functionality, a site is likely to slip down the SERPs (search engine result pages).

Developing a mobile-first approach

A mobile-first strategy prioritises eCommerce design for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices over traditional desktop web design. But, even before applying a mobile-first strategy, marketers should first aim to understand the user, what’s important to them, and gather insights into their customer journey.

For example, a typical user journey could look like this: a customer first sees an ad for a product on TV or in a magazine, then researches the product or brand on their desktop, and finally makes a purchase on their mobile. This is when a more holistic mobile-in-mind approach – that prioritises consistency across all channels – can be particularly useful. 

What does a mobile-in-mind strategy look like?

In eCommerce, a mobile-in-mind strategy usually takes the following into consideration:

  • Responsive site design, optimised for mobile, but consistent across all channels. 

  • Optimised navigation with customer-centric UX, simple functionality, and appealing CTAs.

  • Content prioritisation with a mobile experience in mind.

  • Streamlined checkout to minimise cart abandonment.

As mobile device use increasingly becomes the new normal, so will the shift away from desktop-first design. It's also likely that the integration of new technologies, like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, will bring even more changes in device functionality and opportunities for eCommerce retailers.
Are you ready to build your eCommerce website? Find out more here, or call 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Chris Marklew
Head of Design UX/UI

Chris is an award winning UX/UI design director with over 18 years experience in the digital industry. He has a proven track record of success in leading teams that deliver highly effective and engaging user interface designs. Be it delivering projects for leading brands, or working client side on digital products, Chris brings the experience, ability and passion that ensure top quality work and outcomes.

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