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Closing the Mobile Conversion Gap for E-Commerce Sites


When the World Wide Web was first introduced, the possibilities it brought with it were unimaginable. Ideas that had never before been thought possible began to seem plausible, and soon the world of E-Commerce was born. From clothing to cosmetics to home furniture, online shopping took on a life of its own. And years after the debut of online shopping, the industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. 

The Growth of E-Commerce

In 2017, retail E-Commerce sales reached nearly $447 billion dollars in the United States. In 2023, that number is projected to surpass $735 billion. The ability to reach consumers in their own home at any time, day or night, has completely changed the way people shop. 

Woman online shopping with credit card on her smartphone

How did we get to this E-Commerce shopping domination? What technology brought us here? The answer is simple, smartphones. That little device that seems glued to everyone’s palms now was once a novelty. And this little novelty has the power to once again change how people shop.

Today, success in the E-Commerce industry is as sought after as it ever was. However, there is one thing that is holding some companies back from reaching their full potential. The smartphone is the key to ruling the E-Commerce world, but it also serves as crippling kryptonite to companies who do not utilize the resource correctly.

The Mobile Conversion Gap

In a report by comScore, they found that in 2016 in the United States, 69% of the total minutes spent online shopping was spent on a mobile device. Not surprising seeing as many, if not all of us search, browse, and shop multiple times a day from our smartphones. However, many retailers have not fully capitalized on this large share of time, with only 20% of conversions coming from mobile devices. That’s a 49% mobile conversion gap. So, what’s causing it?

There were five major reasons comScore found that led users to abandon their shopping experience on a mobile device before purchasing. These five reasons included:

  • Security Concerns
  • Cannot See Product Detail
  • Navigating is Difficult
  • Can’t Browse Multiple Screens/Compare
  • Too Difficult to Input Details

Looking at these reasons, it’s clear that businesses can alleviate or eliminate some of these factors, making the shopping and checkout process better optimized for mobile. This, in turn, will help to close the mobile conversion gap and organizations can watch more sales pour in. 

How to Close the Mobile Conversion Gap

Now that we’ve identified the problem how do E-Commerce companies start to close the gap? In the competitive digital landscape of 2019, it’s all about providing your users an experience that will leave them satisfied and coming back for more. UX has never been more important, and companies that aren’t continually evaluating and improving their UX from both a desktop and mobile perspective are going to fall behind. But far too often, companies focus on the desktop UX of their site and leave the mobile UX in the dust.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, here are a few ways you can improve the mobile UX of your online store and convert more visitors to customers. 

Choose a Responsive Design

A responsive design is the best option for guaranteeing that your website looks and feels good to users on not only a mobile device but on any device. With this method of site development, your website will automatically reformat based on the screen size of the device. This can include the restructuring of content, images, menus, and buttons. The easier it is for users to browse and checkout, the more likely they will be to do so.

Web designer working on a responsive design for desktop and mobile

Go Visual

If you have a large E-Commerce site with various different categories and sections on your menu, you will want to think about condensing this info into smaller, visual categories for mobile. These detailed menu options might work on desktop, but no one wants to spend time scrolling through a long list of items on their smartphone. You will want your user to see all of their options on their device at one time. Also, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so making your menu visual will help users find what they need quickly and easily.

Ensure a Smooth Checkout

The mobile checkout process is arguably the most important part of a user’s experience with your site. There are so many things that can go wrong, leading users to abandon their cart without a second glance. Things such as forcing users to make an account, or having a difficult payment process can all lead to frustration and abandonment. 

Keeping Your Customers on Mobile

These quick tips are a start, but there are many more things you can do to improve the UX of your mobile site. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach either. A lot of the optimization necessary for your specific site will come from your own data and insights. So, it’s time to dig in and figure out how to give your mobile users the easiest, best shopping experience possible. If you can do this, you will be on your way to closing that pesky mobile conversion gap.

If you need help improving the UX of your site on desktop, mobile, or any other device, we can help. Here at Firetoss, we focus all of our web designs and marketing strategies around UX. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!