Mobile is simply essential to each stage of your customer’s journey toward a sale or conversion. Mobile is where your prospects window shop, gather information, and assess competing solutions, and it’s increasingly where they convert. On their phones and tablets, visitors to your website stand on the cusp of becoming lifelong customers and loyal promoters – brand evangelicals that recommend your product and spread its greatness. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that your mobile site has been tested and your mobile conversion rate optimization (CRO) has been perfected, what we at Mobile1st call mPerfection.
Here I want to offer just a few of the CRO tips that my Mobile1st team of mobile optimization experts have gained from their mobile consulting and CRO.
To start, it’s necessary to understand the four stages of conversion rate optimization. CRO should be done continuously — it’s an on-going cycle that builds upon past successes and ceaselessly investigates new improvements to a website’s design. Each stage typically employs its own specialized set of tech tools, industry best practices and professional know-how to be accomplished successfully.
Mobile CRO’s Cycle of Success
Step 1. Assess current performance and create baseline metrics
As you begin, you need to measure how your mobile site is performing so you can evaluate the impact of any improvement. These metrics will deliver the hard evidence showing which tests succeed and which fail to deliver an increase in conversions.
Step 2. Understand the customer’s UX on your Mobile site
In the second step of the CRO cycle, you must deep dive into the nitty-gritty of your website visitor’s experience. You investigate their journey through your pages, determining what engages them and where they are dropping off the page and failing to convert. Here’s a core question to ask: what do your mobile customers expect when they make that fateful click to visit your site and what does your site actually deliver?
The insights and data you gather will be used to formulate hypotheses about the requirements, frustrations and motivations of each stream of users.
Step 3: Brainstorming innovation and deploying best practices
In the next step, you and your team employ the insights gained in step 2 to decide on the website improvements you will test. Your team — whether consisting of an array of designers, developers and digital marketers or just a single person — should be guided by best practices, that is, the accumulated wisdom of what works to enhance conversion rates. But also the team should possess deep knowledge of your unique brand, value proposition and target customer segments. That knowledge and experience are the necessary complements to your brainstorming and innovating solutions that will elevate your website user’s experience.
Step 4: Testing and Assessing CRO
In the final stage, you test your innovations against the original (control) page in A/B tests and assess the results against your established baselines. The data determines the winner. You celebrate and implement your innovation successes, and learn from the failures. Then you initiate the cycle once again.
Where to Start in Your CRO (just add SPICE)
Here at Mobile1st, we operate with our proprietary “SPICE Framework.” SPICE helps us determine which CRO tests will most efficiently deliver the greatest revenue results for the least expenditure of time and effort. Our framework is grounded in analytic data, guided by industry-best practices, and proven to ensure powerful, cost-effective results. SPICE helps determine which CRO improvements to test based upon:
- Speed: How fast can the test be run and reach statistical significance
- Impact: The test’s expected impact on increased conversions and revenue growth
- Confidence: Gut check — how much confidence do we have as optimization experts that this test will generate significant results
- Ease: How easy is it to launch the test, given back-end coding and development
Guided by SPICE, we typically hone in on a few major targets for optimization, along with a slew of minor ones. Here are some if our top targets for mobile CRO.
Three Big Targets for Conversion Rate Optimization
1. Load time
Slow time to load, especially on mobile, has repeatedly been demonstrated to decisively disturb customer satisfaction and lower conversion rates. Bing, for example, determined that adding two seconds to load time reduced revenue by 4.3% per customer and decreased clicks by 3.75%. In general, mPulse showed that a mere three-second delay drops the conversion rate from 1.9% to 0.96%. That’s why the team at Mobile1st, unlike most other mobile CRO consultants, targets speed for conversion rate optimization.
Slow rendering also impact a host of other metrics crucial to business success. For SmartFurniture.com, an acceleration in time to page render resulted in:
- 20% increase in organic traffic
- 14% boost in page views
- And an improved search engine ranking
CRO should rightly takes well-known steps to reduce page weight and load times. Web specialists must strive to achieve the magical one-second mark for loading – the time at which website visitors experience a satisfactory UX.
Cart abandonment – when a site visitor actually places an item in the cart, but fails to complete the checkout – affects simply too many eRetail transactions. SaleCycle’s data reports extensive abandonment across all sectors, from a “low” of 68.3% abandoned carts in fashion retail to a high of 80.4% on travel sites. The average abandonment rate is almost three quarters of all carts at 74.4%. And higher on mobile at 85.65%!!!
The reasons for leaving behind merchandise are diverse, and ecommerce specialists have effectively targeted the obstacles to a fast, easy checkout that discourage customers from completing their transaction.
The top three disincentives are:
- Being obliged to register for an account
- A complicated checkout process
- Worries over security
Having placed their precious products in a cart, website shoppers are displaying clear motivation — yes, they want to complete the transaction and obtain the goods or services. Website developers and conversion rate optimization consultants must ensure that the customer’s next step can be accomplished with the least friction possible.
Of the utmost importance is streamlining checkout (and indeed simplifying your entire site design).
Can you improve the order form to lower customer friction? Use form analysis to see where users are spending their time in your order form, and where they are getting stuck and bouncing. See if you can alleviate friction by eliminating fields, adding descriptions to fields, catching user entry errors, or pre-filling fields.
Can you simplify the entry of credit card data? For example, are you allowing users to take a picture of the card instead of inputting the digits or do you offer payment options like PayPal, Amazon Payments, and Apple Pay that store a customer’s credit card information?
Best Practice: As your site visitor is checking out, use as your default mode a guest account with the option to log in. Only at the end of the checkout process, offer the guest the ability to create the account.
We absolutely recommend enabling “guest checkout” so customers can purchase without registering. On average, 23% of abandoned cart result from customers who would rather give up their purchase than suffer the annoyance of creating an account.
Reduce the steps required on each page, AND make clear to your customer just how much progress they’ve made and what’s left to complete. Who hasn’t finished filling in one page thinking they are ready to conclude the transaction only to be confronted by a whole new set of fields waiting for their input? How exasperating!
In addition, when info is necessary, Shopify Plus suggests making clear why the info is needed. For example, when requesting a phone number indicate that it’s for shipping-related questions.
Best Practice: Consider a free shipping minimum threshold to increase average order value. Display it in a thin horizontal banner at the top of the mobile page.Trust too is crucial when shoppers must enter their credit card data in this era of possible Internet fraud. Fully 17 percent of abandoned carts are due to worries over security. Solutions to enhance trust include adding reviews and testimonials, prominently posting trust seals, and offering money-back returns.
As indicated by the four steps of the mobile CRO cycle, each of these strategies for reducing should be tested against the control and baseline metrics to determine their impact.
In essence, to achieve maximum conversion rate optimization, you need to simplify your web pages, images, content, and CTA around one clear message along with streamlining your navigation toward easy pathways to conversion. And those are not easy tasks. Ideally, as you construct your unified, streamlined presentation, you have probed your primary target audience and determined what they want – what matters to them.
Conversion XL suggests these steps toward clarity will deliver greater conversion rate optimization:
- Gauge and meet your visitors’ expectations by creating a strong alignment between keywords in your ads or emails and your landing page.
- Avoid all technical language, jargon, and cute or surplus verbiage
- Start with your products’ benefits to the audience, and unpack the features only once they are actively exploring the product.
As your prospects navigate your mobile site, use heat maps and click maps to learn what is attracting their attention and what is slowing them down. Use the flow charts in Google Analytics to see precisely where they are jumping off.
Conversion rate optimization for mobile is a complex but proven technique for elevating the rates at which your prospects turn into buyers. It relies on industry best practices, a cornucopia of advanced tech tools and quantitative testing to deliver results. eRetail companies cannot neglect this powerful tool in their ecommerce arsenal. By implementing the tips recommended here for loading time, abandoned carts, and streamlined website design, your team will produce a broader and deeper stream of revenue.
Don’t know where to begin? Ask Mobile1st. Our team of experienced professionals are here to help!
Mobile1st is in the business of perfecting mobile conversion. Our team of CRO and subject matter experts guide ecommerce-driven companies toward greater mobile revenue results by applying global best practices and continuous data analytics testing. Mobile1st optimizes the 3 core efforts that dramatically impact mobile conversion most: mobile site Speed/Performance, UX/Usability, and Shopping Cart/Checkout.
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Top image courtesy of Flickr and Robbert Noordzij