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How Can E-commerce Brands Improve Mobile Conversion Rates?

How Can E-commerce Brands Improve Mobile Conversion Rates?


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SaleCycle’s Acquisition Marketing Manager Jack Ford speaks to three digital marketing and e-commerce experts to find out how brands can improve conversion rates for mobile shoppers.
Mobile’s share of web traffic continues to soar and has recently overtaken desktop, but retailers still face challenges in converting mobile users.

Mobile conversion rates are still lagging way behind desktop. In fact, desktop shoppers are three times more likely to convert than mobile ones.
E-commerce stats from Christmas 2016 illustrate this point. Mobile retail traffic was very close to that of desktop – equal if you include tablets – but sales on desktop are much higher.

It seems that in some cases mobile does all the leg-work before shoppers turn to desktop to make their purchase.
Research from Adobe highlights the top three reasons for this:

  • Ease of navigation
  • Bigger product images
  • Entering payment details

To find out how brands can change this behavior and close this conversion gap, we asked three digital marketing and e-commerce experts for their top tips.

Tommy Walker | Editor-in-Chief, Shopify Plus

[one_half]Understand context. The environment around a mobile user is inherently busier. Lunch breaks end, Uber rides finish, texts, Facebook notifications, calendar reminders, both the real world and digital environments are conspiring against the mobile user to get anything done.
This is why making things simple, and as “One touch” as possible is paramount. QZ does a great job of targeting “one touch subscribe” for their mobile readers.
This is also why Apple Wallet, Paypal, and other mobile wallets in the checkout are so important; to make it smoother. My message to brands is: help me buy products faster.[/one_half][one_half_last]


But also, ‘mobile users’ don’t live in a vacuum, they’re likely also desktop users, but do you know who’s who? If you did, you might be able to run a retargeting campaign that is delivered via SMS.
If you’re targeting items with multiple visits and sending those to phone numbers – then by making it easier to buy and checkout via one touch options, you’re far more likely to see a lift in mobile buying.

Dave Chaffey | CEO,

I recommend three research UX techniques retailers should use to improve conversion on smartphone shoppers.

  1. Isolate smartphone visitors in analytics by creating smartphone segments to see whether there are specific pain points on the journey which mean they are more likely exit than desktop. Test improvements against a control using an AB testing tool like
  2. Use tools like or to run dedicated smartphone UX sessions to identify challenges that smartphone users have.
  3. For individual pages in the journey like product, category or checkout pages serve tailored questionnaires asking for feedback.

By using these low cost methods you balance analytic and direct customer feedback to address the problems that are killing your smartphone conversion rates.

Ben Davis | Senior Writer, Econsultancy

  1. Product page imagery has to fill the screen and every page has to load quickly (get your images optimised, your CDN sorted, and use server side caching).  
  2. If you’re a multichannel retailer, make it easy for mobile users to find stock in a nearby store, or to click and collect.
  3. Give a guest checkout option, and use chunky fields with as few checkout pages as possible.



  4. Do the little things well, such as asking for the user’s postcode and then autofill the address field.


The message coming through loud and clear from our interviews and round up of research is the importance of usability. People want to shop on mobile, and retailers need to make the journey as smooth as possible.
It’s interesting to see that a lack of trust isn’t specifically called out by any of the experts or the Adobe survey, and hints at the shift in consumer attitudes from research that reported trust issues as the number one barrier to mobile shopping in 2014.
If brands are now focusing (or should be) on improving the usability of their mobile stores and checkouts, I wonder what the next shift in consumer behavior will be for retailers to keep an eye on?

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