While only a few years ago smartphones were considered to be a luxury item, in today's world they're more of a modern necessity. Look around and you will see nearly everyone you know using mobile phones to access websites and data.
If you're an ecommerce business owner, you know how important it is to create a user-friendly website.
Yet now this means creating a website that's not only user-friendly on the big screen of a home computer, but also on the tiny screen of a smartphone or tablet.
One way to go about this is to create a special phone app, but this can be expensive for small business owners. There are other ways to streamline your original website to make it better optimized for mobile users...
It's best to start by thinking about the pages of your website which are most likely to be accessed by mobile users. If you run an ecommerce shop, this could be the checkout page or the home page. You can optimize these first, while including a link to your main website for those mobile users who want to see more. The following are other ways to make your ecommerce site more mobile-friendly:
1. Look at Mobile Plugins.
The type of platform that you use could determine whether or not you could use a mobile plugin. These are programs which optimize your website to make them more agreeable with mobile viewing standards, and are fairly simple to use.
Many ecommerce software programs will include mobile plugin options. There are also plugins available for popular blogging platforms like WordPress.
2. Streamline your Content
If you're creating separate pages for the mobile version of your website, you don't need to have every bit of information carry over. You can showcase your products with minimal text, making use of white space to ensure that your message and images stand out on a small screen.
There's nothing that looks worse on a smartphone screen than a website that's crammed too full of information. These rules apply to your main website as well.
You can use ecommerce templates to design a clean layout that will translate well to mobile screens.
3. Design for Slow Connection Speeds
When someone is accessing your website with their mobile, chances are that they will have a slower connection than they would at home. Eliminating the complicated design features that take ages to load can prevent your audience from getting frustrated. This means scaling back the use of images, and avoiding any use of Flash animation. A good rule is to include one or two images per post, which is plenty to engage the audience without clogging up the connection.
4. Avoid Banner Ads and Pop-Ups
Pop-up features have their place in web design, providing a way for customers to receive more information or register their details without leaving the main page. Yet they are more trouble than they're worth on a mobile website. They can slow down the loading process significantly and block the information that your audience is looking for. It's best to avoid them in these circumstances.
5. Design for Touch Screen Navigation
Modes of navigation are slightly different between a regular computer screen and a mobile screen. A mobile device will often involve a touch screen. To make navigation easier, it's helpful to include large buttons crafted with fingers in mind. These should be bold enough to stand out easily, for a more user-friendly experience.
Another factor to consider is that most readers on a mobile device will be scrolling down the page, so it's best to keep your content in a vertical line rather than placing your products horizontally.
** This post was written and sponsored by Shopify