How to make your mobile site more engaging
The move to mobile sites was more than a trend in 2019 and it’s likely to become the “norm” in 2020. In the third quarter of 2019, mobile devices generated 51.51% of global website traffic. We’ve already crossed the halfway point with that number likely to grow in 2020. For eCommerce, the move to mobile has a big impact on revenue as some sites are ready to convert on mobile and others fall behind. Salesforce reports that Mobile orders increased 35% on Black Friday this year, with 65% of all eCommerce flowing through a mobile device.
“By 2020, brick and mortar stores will be little more than showrooms.”
- Eddie Machaalani & Mitchell Harper, Co-founders of BigCommerce
The websites that are ready to support and engage customers on mobile just as well, if not better, as on desktop will move far past their competition in the coming months. Customers already have growing expectations for mobile site performance as most of their online activities now happen on fast, functional apps. Mobile sites need to be just as engaging as the apps users are accustomed to.
Here are a few ways you can make your mobile site more engaging:
Use intuitive navigation:
One of the biggest mistakes mobile sites make in terms of functionality and keeping users easily moving through their site is the navigation. Navigation that is made “responsive” should fit the screen in an intuitive way and not be difficult to find, should not require zooming in, and should be easy to physically click through. User expectations around navigation and filtering or searching have been shaped by mobile apps. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow suit of mobile app navigation. Some examples are sidebar navigation that opens up and takes up most of the screen or hamburger navigation that opens a full screen overlay as well. Navigations that require filtering should use multiple screens as users click through to avoid overcrowding.
Integrate app-like features:
Building on the point above, users are accustomed to certain functionality from apps. To keep engagement high on your site, you should follow suit with apps for certain functions. For example, if you want to show multiple images or a gallery, having the images in a “slider” format like on an Instagram feed is best because users are used to it and it’s easy to slide through using one finger on a mobile device. Other examples include using icons for buttons, geolocation features, push notifications, etc.
One great way to add an “app-like” experience to your mobile site is to include a newsfeed on any page of your mobile site using Beamer. Beamer is a changelog and newsfeed that opens up on your mobile site when users click “What’s New” or an icon. Beamer opens as a full screen overlay where users can scroll through updates on new content, new products, deals, new features, etc. You can add photos and videos to make your feed highly engaging and CTAs to keep users clicking through your site. With Beamer, you can also enable push notifications so your mobile site literally behaves like an app and you can bring users back to your site every time you post a new update. It’s a great way to make your mobile site more interesting on any page and keep users moving through your site.
The top performing sites, both mobile and desktop, utilize personalization to keep users engaged. Most mobile apps also deliver highly personalized experiences to where most users have come to expect personalization. For eCommerce sites for example, 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences. Companies have to deliver the same personalized experiences on mobile as the shift to predominantly mobile traffic and purchasing takes place in 2020. Some of the best ways to include personalization is through geotargeting and offering relevant content or product suggestions based on area. Amazon does this with their “people in your area” or “popular in your area” recommendations. Other ways include using past behavior on your site to determine what users see. Social media apps are always curating the experience based on data on past use and engagement which is what keeps users hooked. Read more on how to boost eCommerce customer engagement with tips like this.
One way to do this is to use Beamer to segment what updates users see and what push notifications they get. You can segment by demographic, location, language, and past behavior. This is particularly valuable for eCommerce companies who want to target customers with product info and deals they are most likely to engage with. The more relevant the products or content, the more likely your mobile site is to be engaging.
Use large images, graphics, and incorporate video:
A lot of what users expect comes from what they are used to with apps they use the most – social media. We’ve become very used to large, whole-screen, high quality photos throughout our feeds that keep us interested and engaged. Mobile websites that don’t deliver the same fall behind – especially eCommerce sites. You want photos to be high quality, delivered quickly, and large enough to fill the majority of the screen. Many responsive sites don’t size photos well. Any graphics should also be resized for mobile. The last thing you want is for users to have to zoom in on a graphic that looks fine on desktop but is too small on mobile. Everything should be sized to make sense on mobile. Aim to mimic a social media feed as a good rule of thumb; this is what users are used to. Additionally, include video where you can. Users retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text. On top of that, more than 50% of videos are watched on mobile. It’s hard to fit a lot of text on mobile and get the same engagement from it. Incorporating video where you can in order to get your point across and keep users engaged is best. This is especially valuable for eCommerce sites where customers often are looking for video explanations or demos to make a purchasing decision. Videos also help you save space on mobile as you need less text and images to have the same amount of information and impact. You can easily host product videos and demo videos on your Beamer feed for better explanations and to increase engagement with your feed and site.
Users do so much more than just browse on social media these days. For many, social media is a place to discover more about companies, more about products, discover new products, and do research. 76% of consumers now buy products they discover on Social Media. The rise of influencers and companies using social media more and more for ads and to communicate with customers has made the connection between mobile sites and social media really important. Incorporating social media can help boost engagement on your mobile site. For eCommerce companies, adding social media photos and sharing options to your product pages mimics to product discovery process on social media and allows customers to engage on both your site and your social pages. Embedding videos, images, and feeds from social media are a great way to show you are active there as well as show that others are engaging with you. It’s qualification for customers. The more you can really bridge the gap, the better. A lot of users use social media for communication and are willing to share images, your products, content, etc. when you make it easy to do so.
It will be interesting to see how quickly and what activities we shift to mobile sites this year. The trend has been exponentially growing over the last few years and as mobile app experiences have listened to users and dramatically improved, user expectations have continued to rise. The companies who provide mobile sites that keep up in terms of performance and experience will be able to engage users and beat out the competition much more easily in this new shift. It’s an opportunity to excel for those who are willing to improve and deliver an engaging mobile site now. For an easy way to boost engagement on your mobile site, try Beamer.