March 23, 2014

Is your online shop mobile-friendly?

In my post last week, recapping DX3 Canada's Conference, I highlighted the fact that mobile devices are becoming THE way to access the internet.

In the 18-34 demographic, more than 50% of time spent online is via a mobile device or tablet.

Given this stat, you may find it a little surprising that it is not unusual to stumble upon a large eCommerce website that is not mobile friendly.  

Meaning, when you access them, you get the SAME experience you would if you were visiting their website on your laptop or desktop.

Responsive Website Design vs. Mobile Website vs. Mobile App

There are several ways to approach designing a website with mobile in mind. 

Responsive website design uses a fluid approach (and a bunch of techy mumbo-jumbo) to essentially flex the website's elements depending on what type of device you are using to access the site. Think of it as squishing the website down to the right size and arranging elements accordingly depending on the size of screen.

A mobile website is a separate site that will be redirected to (usually when it detects you're on a mobile or tablet device. The structure is custom so may or may not mirror the full website experience. It's usually a colder experience IMO.

A mobile app is what you'd see in the iTunes store. Custom to the retailer's desired experience but requiring download. 

Real world example - Completely Non-responsive Online Shop

Reitmans. Part of a $1 billion+ group of retail brands, takes you to their regular website, and they have a pop-up to boot which is impossible to close given the small action button.

This is a very poor user experience. Shopping on your mobile device here, let alone finding a physical store would be challenging.

Real World Example - Responsive/Mobile Optimized Online Shop

AritiziaA Canadian homegrown retail apparel brand that's core demo is in that 18-34 year old range has a beautiful mobile-optimized website. It's easy to scroll through, the checkout is mobile-friendly, and the graphics are adapted to the screen size.

Mind you, they just started selling online a few years ago (a bit late to the party!), so this may be way - their site was built in a time when mobile responsive websites were table stakes.

Why you should care about Mobile

I encourage you to go into your Google Analytics and have a look at the section  "Audience". Click on Mobile --> Overview.

Look to the far right at your conversion for mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop. Are they the same? 

If they are, I'm giving you a virtual high-five RIGHT now.

If not, you need to start thinking about how your website shows up on a mobile device.

How to Start

Pick up your iPhone, or another mobile device or tablet, and type in your shop's website address. What does it look like? Is it easy to find product? How is the checkout experience?

Note anything odd, or unusual that would be strange for a customer or cause them to jump off your website.

I had a responsive website for but decided to swap for a mobile website because I had a pop-up that would keep coming up and inhibiting the experience.

Only you can make the right decision for your shop's mobile experience.

Good luck!


Tell us, what was your most important takeaway from this post?

How will you leverage it in your business?

Leave a comment below!

Happy selling!

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