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7 Reliable Mobile Design Tips for Your Online Store to Increase Traffic and Sales

7 Reliable Mobile Design Tips for Your Online Store to Increase Traffic and Sales

When commerce first moved online, many retailers wondering what to do after buying a domain name had to do a lot of building themselves. Luckily, these days, platforms like Shopify take care of much of the initial groundwork for you.

Even so, there’s still a lot you can do with your online store’s design to increase traffic and sales. As more commerce moves to mobile, for example, it’s become increasingly important to focus on your site’s mobile design.

From chat boxes to checkouts, here are seven reliable tips you can use to improve your online store’s mobile design.

1. Know your audience

Before making drastic changes to your online store, it’s important to understand who these changes will benefit. Rather than thinking “we’re not getting enough conversions on this page”, try to see the page from your customer’s point of view. This will help you diagnose real issues that are preventing you from growing your sales.

You’re looking at analytics, but are you breaking that data down into audience segments? In UX design, it’s standard to create personas based on the audiences you see in your data and those you’re trying to target. This helps turn an abstract dataset into a real customer whose journey through the site you can relate to. 

Why is your audience on mobile? Have they come from your social page while browsing Instagram? Are they more likely to be on their commute or scrolling half-asleep in bed? As we’ll discuss, this kind of knowledge will enable you to make design changes that better serve them and, in turn, increase sales and repeat traffic.

2. Remove distractions

In any online store, it’s important there are no distractions, but this is especially true on mobile. Given you have no screen to spare, the design of your page needs to be focused on what the customer is trying to achieve.

Consider a “one page, one job” approach. Design for the mobile experience first and worry about desktops later. Constraints often encourage creativity, and with limited screen space, you’ll have to make every hero image and line of copy work extra hard.

This is especially true for landing pages telling the story of the product. These are often focused on one call to action, and all testing and iteration on that page is optimizing it toward the one goal. If one of your pages is trying to sell a product, upsell, display a pop-up for your email list, and promote a seasonal discount… what goal should you optimize for? Focus is as helpful for you as it is for your customers.

On mobile, it’s easy for online retailers to just cram a modular design down into a vertical stack, but consider what content you could hide or show depending on the screen width. Does your product page break information into different sections? Try turning these into unfolding sections the mobile user has to click on to read in full.

3. Optimize your checkout

Shopping cart abandonment is an irritating source of lost online sales. A major cause is a complicated checkout process. 24% of people surveyed abandon their carts because they have to create an account, and 18% will abandon the cart if it’s too long or complicated. So, what can retailers do to optimize their checkout process?

In-cart upselling is a common tactic in eCommerce. The thinking is that customers are more likely to buy an accessory or upgrade once they’re committed to buying the main product.

However, this is often either a distraction or an annoyance. If your customer is tempted by the upsell, they might go to its product page to learn more and abandon their cart. If they’re already committed to buying, then upselling might just get in their way.

Mobile design is all about focus. Focus on the purchase the customer is making now and upsell later. If you’re collecting their email, you can include your upsell in the confirmation message you send. If you have their mobile number, getting customers into your A2P messaging flow is a great way to increase traffic and sales in the long term.

Offering multiple payment options is always helpful, but pay special attention to mobile consumers. Apple Pay and Google Pay are the quickest, easiest ways for many mobile users to pay, and no online store should be without them. You can even detect which device your user is on and, say, offer an iPhone user Apple Pay as the very first payment option.

Adopt the “persona” of your target audience and audit every step of your mobile checkout process from their point of view. Are you highlighting the information that matters to them? Is it quick and easy for them to adjust their order? How many steps does it take to amend their payment details?

There’s no one way to do this. “Should we have the whole checkout on one page, or break it up into one question per page like TypeForm?” is not a question with the same right answer for everyone. It all comes down to knowing your audience better than anyone and doing what’s right for them.

4. Use visual content

Customers are 64-85% more likely to buy after seeing a product video. Visual content – from images to video, animations, and infographics – is always effective in online retail.


It’s especially effective on mobile, where customers are more likely to make an impulse purchase. Pinch-to-zoom photos are an effective sales tactic on mobile, allowing customers to see products up close on small screens. If you have to have a lot of text to describe your product’s features and benefits, use infographics to break this up.

5. Optimize your forms

Long or complicated forms can put off customers, especially on mobile. This is a big deal in virtual law practice, where firms have to make filling out complex documents work on smartphones. The process has to be user-friendly enough that clients will actually fill them out in a timely manner. (Preferably, without phoning their lawyer to clarify something.)

Get rid of unnecessary fields. Shopify payments run on Stripe, whose checkout removes fields like “Card Type” or “State”, which can be deduced from other information. Like law firms, consider breaking up long forms into smaller steps. These could be visually separated with clear headers or broken up into different pages. Time your user spends typing is time they’re not browsing, so use autocomplete and suggestions in your search bar to save time and effort.

If you have returning customers, keep the information they give you and either auto-fill forms or remove them entirely. Amazon introduced its patented one-click purchase system in part for mobile users. They understood the mobile user – who might, for example, remember they need to order dog food while out and about – and gave them the option to make an instant purchase before they forgot about it.

This is great for mobile users as they don’t need to click through numerous pages and checkouts, which is harder if they’re on the move. One-click purchasing might not be right for you, but consider how you can similarly do as much of your mobile customer’s “job” for them as you’re able.

6. Make yourself available

You can’t anticipate every question or issue a customer might have, so making yourself available with a live chat feature is a great way to address concerns your pages haven’t discussed already. This small button in the corner of the screen can provide so much value for you and your customers.

Some live chat services will even let you make a free video call within your chatbox. This saves your mobile users from typing, and a real conversation can help customers make decisions about more expensive items.

By making yourself accessible, you’re able to talk directly with more customers and get a better sense of their concerns. You can then use this information to improve the information on your site.

Whether you’re amending product descriptions or adding more to your FAQs page, your site will be better tailored to your audience. Well-tailored experiences and one-on-one conversations are two of the most profitable B2B marketing strategies, and there’s a lot that online retailers can learn from them.

7. Test everything

A/B testing and user testing any design changes is always a good idea, but you want to pay attention to your audience segments. What works for one audience persona might not for another.

With a focus on mobile users, you want to pay special attention to devices. Your site may work differently across these, so segment by device in your analytics and look for unexpected changes in your data whenever you make an update.

In software development, this is called regression testing, and it’s how you make sure the changes you’re making don’t have unexpected side effects.

Set yourself apart

In the past decade, there’s been a shift in on premises vs. cloud to web servers like AWS, API vendors like Stripe, and online shopfront providers like Shopify. This is great because it allows these companies to handle what they’re specialists in, while your business can focus on what you specialize in.

In eCommerce, that doesn’t just mean you concentrate on your product. You’ll notice a lot of these tips are about knowing your audience. As these technologies become commoditized, your competitors will adopt the same platforms you’re using. What then? It’s your knowledge of your audience and ability to meet their needs that will set you apart and continue to increase sales in the long term.

This is a guest post contribution by Jessica Day. Jessica is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform and one of the top WFM tools today that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.

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