Majority of Black Friday Traffic from Mobiles

Black Friday saw record-breaking online sales across the web’s biggest retailers.  But this year more people than ever purchased via a mobile device. As Luke Wrobleski on Twitter pointed out, 2014 saw 49.2% of online traffic to the world’s top online retailers come from mobile. In 2015 it was 57.2%, according to IBM. We have hit the “Mobile Moment”.Screenshot 2015-12-01 17.31.56

The graph shows the gap between mobile traffic in green and and mobile sales in blue. It demonstrates there is still a lot of room for improvement for m-commerce experiences. More attention paid to improving user experience, whether on the mobile web or native applications would help conversion rates and overall sales. With either platform, there are many considerations to account for, such as loading times (especially over cellular/mobile data), general navigation, product discovery, and the checkout process.

These figures show that in 2015 if your brand isn’t mobile-ready then you will be left behind. The best time to build a mobile website was three years ago, the second best time is now.

Responsive vs. standalone websites

Responsive websites use the browser size to reshape the website, converting wide desktop layouts into tall scrollable sites for users on mobile. Standalone mobile websites are custom designed and custom-built with purely mobile in mind, and sit on a separate domain to a brand’s main website.

Both have advantages, with responsive sites able to target any size of screen with the same content. Standalone mobile sites can be designed to have a completely different page and content structure to a desktop site, giving a more mobile-enhanced experience. A well designed responsive site will usually do well for mobile, and time is best spent enhancing the user interface and reduce checkout “hurdles” to increase conversion rates.

Native apps

Many retailers have launched their own native iOS or Android app, that runs on the device (rather than through a web browser). This has further advantages over websites, as they will run quicker and have a more customised user interface and experience, and access stored user data more quickly. However, retailers will face the challenge of trying to get consumers to download their app. In our experience, native apps can provide a more enhanced and faster experience for shoppers.

Three key ways to improve mobile experiences

Mobile is a very different experience to desktop and retailers need to appreciate that both too much information and not enough (such as hiding content) on a small mobile screen can damage the user experience. Small enhancements can go a long way.

  1. Appropriately sized content: font size that is easy to read yet fits in one vertical column on screen. Amount of content is important, as users will have a shorter attention span, but still want to know key facts about products (this is an area called information design).
  2. Clear and large call-to-actions (CTAs), as buttons can be harder to click than on desktop when using small touch-screen devices.
  3. Simplified checkout processes – what is the minimum amount of information a user can fill in to complete the transaction, on the fewest number of screens (to avoid long loading times). Look into tools like Apple Pay and Stripe which put emphasis on ease-of-use and speeding up the checkout process.

If you are interested in mobile optimisation, user interface or user experience, get in touch with Piers on piers@makehoney.com

Piers Rudgard-Redsell
piers@makehoney.com