Article

James Cody
James Cody 23 May 2017
Categories Mobile, Technology

5 Challenges To Overcome When Developing A Mobile Ecommerce Site

People use their mobile devices to get information about literally anything while on the go. And when they shop, the mobile experience is highly likely to be part of it. So it’s very important to develop your online shop with mobile users in mind. Here are some of the most common problems that developers and owners have to deal with.

Touchscreens

According to Statista, touchscreen devices are still growing popular and more and more people use such devices. And it’s pretty natural for a user to touch what he can see. But it also introduces some restrictions.

First of all, you should introduce hidden gestures to replace the sub-menu which can be called by a right-click on your mouse. Apart from that, touch gestures are not as precise as those of a mouse (especially depending on finger size of a user). And you should remember that if a user can’t click a button on a website, it’s the problem of site design and not a user’s fault.

You need to make all clickable elements on your page proper size so that users won’t experience problems with clicking on them. What is more, you need to indicate all clickable and non-clickable elements on your site clearly. You don’t have the luxury of keeping your visitor clicking all elements for half an hour. If something is unclear, a user will simply leave the page.

Screen size

The medium size of a modern smartphone screen is about 4 inches (some screens are bigger, and some are smaller). So you need to make sure that your site is easy to read and navigate on such small screens. There are different techniques that can be applied, like supplementary text or consecutive expansion of content (when a user sees more and more content as he scrolls down). Just make the first screen attractive and informative so that a user gets involved with your site.

Mobile and desktop versions of a site

Here we come to another important and disputable question: should desktop and mobile versions of a site be the same (in terms of content) or should mobile version just contain the most important information?

According to user testing, mobile version shouldn’t be much different from the desktop one. Otherwise, the number of conversions drops significantly. It means that users want to see everything you have to offer on any device.

But when we speak about functions and design, these two versions should be different. Alternatively, they won’t work effectively (especially the mobile one). So make sure that your mobile version is optimized properly for mobile experience.

Repetitive interaction after errors

Another problem for mobile users is that they get easily distracted. The source of distraction can be either push-notifications, or a call, or a message. So you need to provide smooth experience when a user returns to your shop after getting distracted. Pay attention to the following possible problems:

  • Site reaction to input errors.
  • Does your page reload completely if a user has mistyped anything?
  • Are there any hints for user when typing?
  • Does your site behave properly after hitting the “Back” button? This button is actively used by users so you shouldn’t underestimate it. The most popular use for it is when a user searches for something and then wants to return to the search results.
  • Can a user cancel previously made actions?

Mind that a lot of abandoned orders happen due to the impossibility to continue working with a shop after errors.

Performance

Page load speed is crucial for modern users who don’t want to wait. Apart from loading time you need to take care of page rendering and parsing. And all this should be done with lower processing powers from mobile devices in mind (as compared to the desktop computers or laptops). We won’t talk about all technical aspects in this article (as it’s a rather complicated topic which requires special attention), but the most crucial moment include:

  • Proper resource cashing which leverages site speed;
  • Use of native technologies;
  • Proper loading of different scripts on your site so that user can see the site as quick as possible.

Conclusion

Take a look at the best shops in you category and see how they treat their mobile users. Are you satisfied with it? If so, make sure that your site is no worse. If not, just do yours better and win your competitor's customers!

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