Marketing Center

Why you should optimize your e-commerce site for mobile

Find out if your e-commerce site is offering a positive, mobile-optimized experience for all customers.

Published: February 28, 2017

Mobile commerce spending in the United States is expected to grow,1 which means there are plenty of opportunities for you to increase e-commerce sales by creating a mobile-optimized shopping experience. Here are a few tips for making your online business mobile friendly.

Improve user experience with a responsive website

An effective mobile e-commerce experience starts with your website. It should be easy to scroll through product or offering pages, and images should fit mobile device screens. If your website integrates a mobile-responsive design, the website is automatically formatted to render to the dimensions of tablets and smartphones. The responsive design also allows you to streamline your customer's buying experience with faster load times and easier navigation. "You want to make sure it's really easy for customers to find the information they need in no more than two or three clicks," says Laurie McCabe, a partner at technology research firm SMB Group.

Integrate a mobile shopping cart

Another significant component of an effective mobile e-commerce experience is a mobile shopping cart. Most business owners can integrate a mobile shopping cart into the buying experience through an e-commerce platform such as Shopify or Magento, McCabe says. These platforms allow a business owner to create a virtual storefront and shopping cart that can accept multiple forms of payment and also include a standard return process for the customer.

Connect your e-commerce and accounting processes

In addition to planning for customer interaction in the mobile e-commerce experience, you should understand how this platform will integrate into your accounting and inventory process. Consider upfront whether your platform syncs with your current accounting and inventory systems. "It becomes very important for these front-end systems to integrate with the back-end systems; otherwise, you're going to create a nightmare for you and the customer," McCabe says.

Consider whether your business needs an app

If you're considering creating an e-commerce mobile app, take some time to evaluate whether it would truly fit your customers' needs. Competing against businesses with apps such as Amazon and Starbucks, your business app may get lost in the shuffle. "It's very tough to compete with the mobile apps from the big guys," McCabe says. "I think the bottom line is really optimizing your mobile website."

Monitor your customers' activity

Many mobile e-commerce platforms and web hosts offer analytical tools that allow you to monitor how customers arrive at your website, how they interact with your site, and what they purchase so you can continually optimize their experience to increase sales. "You want to see what trends are going on and track site traffic, which helps you make better decisions regarding your business plan," McCabe says.

Here are seven ways you can optimize your website for mobile, and improve the user experience.

1In the final quarter of 2016, mobile commerce spending in the United States was more than $22 billion, according to comScore.