Mobile optimization is the process of making your website adjustable on mobile device screens. The techniques to optimize an eCommerce site for mobile devices involve the use of design and development methods to customize your Shopify store site content and components to flow smoothly between different mobile devices.
This hassle-free and uninterrupted browsing of sites on every device provides the audience with a better user experience and delights and engages them to take the intended call to action on your site.
Mobile optimization is specifically essential for eCommerce websites or online shopping sites because it covers a crucial part of achieving the best customer journey – from seamless product browsing, liking, and making a prompt purchasing decision.
Why is mobile optimization important for your eCommerce site?
The core principle of mobile optimization is ADEC – Attract- Delight – Engage – Convert.
We won’t get into the statistics and numbers because it’s a given – Mobile is the game-changer. It’s changing the way we consume and engage with content online. Mobile has – and continues to – change how we get things done.
Mobile helps users make quick purchasing decisions. 70% of users have done research and analysis of products they planned to buy using their smartphones and then purchased the said products.
Optimizing your eCommerce sites for mobile devices will increase the rate of user attraction, smoothen the delight gap, boost engagement, and ultimately drive the conversion rate. You’ll find several methods to optimize your Shopify store or any eCommerce site for mobile. However, I’m going to share “three-must-use” mobile optimization techniques that’ll sure-shot increase conversion rate.
6 must-use ways to optimize your Shopify store for mobile
User-First, Mobile-First Design
The design philosophy of the “mobile-first design” concept involves creating experiences for your users by keeping their interest as the topmost priority.
The mobile-first design process starts by designing for the smallest screen first, which is the mobile device screen. Adopting mobile-first design philosophy and approach will enable your eCommerce site to deliver a seamless user experience.
It’s not the same as a responsive design.
Mobile-first design is not a mobile responsive design method. Both are specific design philosophies. Web designers work on mobile responsive design to make their content fit on different browsing screens. And the process usually involves designing for the desktop screens first – which might cause the mobile version to become clumsy.
In the mobile-first design process, you design for mobile browsing first. And since mobile viewing calls for a lean and progressive browsing experience, the design process advances the desktop version. All in all, the mobile-first design is refined, accommodates the basics of browsing, and offers a better user experience.
4 Must-use Mobile-first design points
- Work on a visual hierarchy, which means arranging and presenting website UI elements in accordance with their significance to your users, so that they can browse through your site without any hiccups, engage with the content and information and make smooth and quick buying decisions
- Design clickable elements that allow users to click instantly on buttons, without experiencing the frustration of zooming in or enlarging them while using their mobile devices
- Avoid using chunky or large content because most mobile users get frustrated when they have to engage with expansive content of any type. Use interactive elements, quick-to-scan words, and components to help create a direct communication flow and engage with your mobile users and make for a better mobile-first design.
- Make communication easy and direct with your mobile users. Use mobile communication elements, such as messaging, texting, WhatsApp messages, Instagram, Live chat, and Snapchat messages.
“Thumb Zone” Optimization
Optimizing your site for the “Thumb Zone” is the second step to your Shopify store’s mobile optimization.
But what is the “Thumb Zone,” and why should it matter at all?
The “Thumb Zone” is the safe zone. It’s the part where our thumbs feel comfortable while using our mobile devices and browsing through the screens. It was the brainchild of UX researcher and expert Steven Hoober. He coined the term “Thumb Zone” after conducting a thorough study and research to analyze how different individuals held and used mobile devices. His study reported that 49% of mobile device users depended on a single-hand grip for device support, and 75% of them interacted on their mobile devices using their thumb.
Steven Hoober’s research on “Thumb Zone” proved that most mobile-device users preferred single-handed usage of their devices.
Therefore, it further ratifies the importance of “Thumb Zone” optimization in the process of mobile optimization of online stores for more comfortable and satisfactory user engagement.
So, it’s only evident to optimize your online shopping site for the “thumb zone” by integrating important design and feature components in this specific zone for delivering the best user experience to your target audience.
How to optimize the “thumb zone” for mobile optimization?
Before we go deep into the thumb zone optimization process, remember to design and develop a site that is easy to navigate and work with using our thumb. Also, showcase your brand’s key features in the middle of the mobile device screen.
- Positioning is key to optimizing the thumb zone for a mobile-optimized site. Position critical tasks, such as – navigation menu, popular links, CTA (call-to-action) buttons, and back to homepage option – accessible and within user reach.
- Keep the menu fixed at the bottom of the mobile screen. Doing so will make the tasks user-accessible and save necessary purchasing decision-making time for your customers.
- Parallax scrolling might give an “oomph” appearance to your site, but it’s not functional when it comes to mobile screens. It’s because actions and pages are not linked to the images. Furthermore, it works on a few customers’ minds, like in 3D video viewing – causing nausea.
- Spacing is another vital aspect of thumb zone optimization. Remember to leave enough room in between elements when designing a mobile-first design website. The right spacing enables risk minimization and prevents users from clicking on buttons or links they don’t intend to otherwise.
- Position the shopping cart within the thumb zone on a fixed menu or at the top.
Mobile Checkout Page Optimization
Mobile checkout page optimization is the basic principle of conversion optimization at mobile checkout. The process allows your customers to experience hassle-free and quick checkout. The first step to optimizing the mobile checkout page is to ensure that checkout is accomplished in less than two clicks.
- Start by integrating your site with features like integrating payment gateways, such as PayPal, ApplePay, Venmo. Doing so will enable your customers to reach the “Thank You” page from their cart in no time soon.
- Minimize the customer detail requirement protocol because involving your customers to type the end number of information will ultimately turn them away from the checkout page.
- Keep the checkout button above the fold of your mobile cart page, as it will make the checkout easy to locate and prominent.
The Hamburger Menu
As “meaty” as it may sound, having a “hamburger menu” is ideal for making your Shopify store mobile-ready. The menu offers direct navigational access to your users — which allows them to directly click on pages of their preference without having to go through any other preset orders.
A hamburger menu is a valid mobile optimization strategy because it boosts speed and usability — thereby making for an awesome UX or user-experience dealmaker!
What is a hamburger menu?
It is an icon integrated into apps and sites, which when tapped or clicked, opens a navigation drawer or side menu. It gets the name “hamburger” due to its resemblance to the stacking of a “hamburger.”
The condensation of page options via a hamburger menu, enables users to make seamless purchases online, (as mentioned above, they don’t have to make through multiple options). And according to a University of Washington research, customers make higher purchases online when they can avoid making way through many options.
The Pros and Cons of a Hamburger Menu:
- Seamless and intuitive use of online store via mobile
- Saves screen real estate
- Gives direct access to users
- Effortless right thumb navigation
- Might occupy screen real estate’s large block
How to optimize Hamburger Menu?
- Use the menu to show important pages
- Label icon
- Place the menu in an easy-to-access place
- Category and subcategory optimization
- Priority-based organization
Keep Main Navigation Visible
Navigation on sites helps in reducing the cognitive load from visitors, which further ensures a higher conversion rate. Keeping your main navigation concise and at sight is key to the successful mobile optimization of a Shopify store.
The strategy helps in making customers navigate what they want and find the same easily through your Shopify store, without beating a sweat!
It’s quite evident that users swipe or scroll through the mobile site to access the desired products or details. However, there are higher chances of them missing vital information with a wrong swipe or missed scroll. The action not only will cost you a sale but also a potential long-term customer.
Keeping your main navigation menu in sight and fixed, including your homepage link, CTA button, and checkout link will make sure your visitors have access to all the priority-based details at sight.
Mobile Form Optimization
We use forms on sites to collect important user information, which is further used for transactions, registration, and other vital online activities. When it comes to mobile sites, forms deliverance is critical. Slow loading form will turn off your customers and prevent them from making the desired purchases online.
So, what are the best mobile form optimization strategies?
- Keep the forms concise and short
- Build a multipage form in case you cannot have a short form
- Use drop-down menus, auto-answers, and radio buttons, as they will cut down on typing efforts
- Keep the form fields that of a finger size
- Keep the font size to 16px. More or less will create an accessibility hindrance to users with visual impairment
- Use field masks to increase form completion speed and reduce errors