Nearly half of the traffic to online stores is generated through a mobile device. Yet, only a small fraction of sales are completed on one. While much of this traffic ultimately does lead to an in-store or online sale, smart retailers are optimizing their mobile sites to create inviting shopping experiences which converts this valuable traffic into rich sales.

Consider the External Environment

Think of the circumstances under which you use your mobile device. If you’re like most, it’s during those periods when you’re trying to kill time, such as when you’re commuting (which explains why mobile usage is the highest in the morning) or when you’re standing in line. Another scenario is when you’re quickly trying to find information. Both are rushed environments with lots of external stimulation to compete with. Counteract this by creating a mobile site that gives customers the information they want quickly. Know when to wow them, and know when to step aside.

Don’t Just Mirror the Site

A major mistake many retailers make is that they design websites primarily for desktop, and then offer a shrunken down version for mobile. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, creative text becomes too tiny to read. Call to action buttons become too small for even the nimblest of fingers to click. When it comes to small screens, less is more. Use fewer words and images but make them bold and big. Reduce image size to improve load times. Over half of emails are opened on a mobile device, so apply these practices to email as well.

Omni: It’s Not Just a Buzzword

Mobile has become the bridge between tying the in-store and online experiences. Customers are using their mobile to devices to not only research before going to a physical store, but also while in-store. Smart retailers are reacting to this by making the Store Locator more prominent on their mobile sites and utilizing geolocation. Up to 75% of customers are using their phones to research products while in a physical store. Make search more prominent so that customers can easily find details and ratings on products. Utilize inventory locator tools so customers are able to find which stores around them have their desired products in-stock.

Check Out: Make It Simple

The fewer fields and pages you have during the checkout process, the higher your cart-to-order conversion rate. This is even more critical with a mobile device where small text and a rushed environment lend to a stressful experience. Make it easy and painless for the customer by simplifying the checkout process. Consolidate fields wherever possible. For example, phone number can be a single field instead of three separate fields. Utilize Google address which auto-populates a full address after just a few character entries. Offer online payment options such as PayPal or Google Wallet.

Invite Them Back

Perhaps your mobile site wasn’t so great and customers had a poor experience with it. But now that you’ve utilized these tips to improve it, let customers know and invite them back. Use in-store signage to let customers know of the features of the mobile site. Entice them to check out the new site with a mobile-exclusive offer.

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