Business Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile E-Commerce Conversion Rate

Last updated January 2022


Welcome to the next blog in Splitit’s series of “Ultimate Guides” to e-commerce success. We’ve covered how to convert site visitors into shoppers, increase your Average Order Value (AOV), and foster an e-commerce environment that breeds customer loyalty.

In this Guide, we are focusing on the mobile e-commerce conversion rate, which is often a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure the effectiveness and success of your online store.

Your website visitors aren’t always on desktops. In fact, the number of mobile users increases every day. As of January 2020, there were an estimated 4.2 billion unique users worldwide. In May of this year more than 50% of web page views globally were viewed on mobile devices (excluding tablets) and those numbers are projected to increase.

The statistics scream that your business must pay attention to shoppers using mobile devices. If a mobile user lands on your site and is turned off by the user experience, odds are it’ll be harder to attract them again. Mobile shopping first impressions are crucial, and for your business to grow, mobile conversions are critical.

Picture this: a shopper is searching for a product and lands on your online store using her phone. She gets a little frustrated because the site is taking time to load and isn’t displaying properly, but she presses on. She manages to add the item to her cart, but gets lost trying to check out.

What do you think will happen next? Most likely she’ll abandon her cart and keep searching for the product elsewhere. More than that, she may tell a friend about her lackluster mobile shopping experience or even share her thoughts on social media. At Splitit, we work to provide business resources to help increase mobile conversion and avoid scenarios like these, one shopper at a time.

As you navigate this Ultimate Guide to Mobile E-Commerce Conversion Rate, we encourage you to jump around to sections that you want to learn about first, but we hope you’ll read this Guide in its entirety because we think it’s a great resource for improving your mobile e-commerce conversion rate.

This Guide is divided into 7 sections:

  1. Mobile E-Commerce Conversion Rate Basics
    • Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
    • How Mobile CRO Differs
  2. Site Design
    • Mobile Responsiveness and Mobile SEO
    • Use of Graphics, Video, and Content
  3. User Experience
    • Loading Speed
    • Mobile Navigation
    • Mobile Optin
    • Clear CTAs
    • Simple Checkout
    • Easy Payment Options
  4. Mobile Marketing and Advertising
  5. Customer Service
  6. Testing Mobile Optimization for Conversion
  7. Conclusion

1. Mobile E-Commerce Conversion Rate Basics

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

CRO is a multi-faceted approach for getting site visitors to take a specific action, and while it sounds quite magical there is a science to making it happen. That action could be purchasing a product, signing up for a rewards program, or even reviewing a previously purchased product.

With e-commerce, the focus is mainly on sales and customer engagement to generate loyalty, repeat sales, and referrals. For a successful systematic approach to CRO businesses must employ a mix of strategies such as marketing, advertising, effective website design that collectively draw and ultimately take care of motivated shoppers. 

How Mobile CRO Differs

Traditional CRO is focused on web browsers, but mobile CRO takes into account shoppers who prefer to use their mobile devices to navigate e-commerce stores. These mobile users likely have different expectations navigating a site on a phone or tablet as opposed to a laptop or desktop. 

As a business owner, it’s your mission to make them feel at home no matter what mobile device they are using when visiting your e-commerce store. One of the best ways to drive mobile conversion is to design your site in such a way that website visitors can’t wait to get there…and stay.

2. Site Design

Mobile Responsiveness and Mobile SEO

A mobile responsive site can alter itself based on the screen size of the mobile device a person is using. It’s a dynamic view that offers comfortable navigation, reducing the need to resize or side scroll on mobile devices.

Splitit recommends choosing a mobile responsive design because:

  • Your e-commerce website will display better on mobile devices
  • It makes it easier for mobile users to interact with product pages on your website
  • Google can crawl more of the website and its ranking algorithms can function better
  • It focuses on keeping the most important screen elements at the forefront
  • Users don’t have to spend time opting for a mobile view instead of the default browser-optimized view
  • It helps boost your mobile e-commerce conversion rate

You can use mobile responsive platforms like Shopify, or call on your development team to craft a mobile optimization strategy for your website. One aspect of your mobile conversion strategy should be testing your site’s mobile search engine optimization (SEO). It will determine how easily shoppers can find your online store based on your content when they perform searches. 

Here’s another reason you should choose a mobile responsive design: Google will make mobile-first indexing the default behavior of its search engine by September 2020. This means if you don’t have a mobile site, your rankings will be behind mobile optimized sites.

Curious if your site is mobile-friendly? Use this mobile-friendly testing tool to gain insight on where your site stands.

Use of Graphics, Video, and Content

Images can tell a story and engage a shopper long before they read content. Choose engaging images that make sense for your brand. Add short videos to offer a personal touch to the shopping experience. Write concise content that is informative and in a tone that resonates with your customer base.

Here are some tips on the use of visual elements and content:

  • Use high-quality images of people that elicit specific emotions
  • Provide multiple images on each product page to show fine details of your products from different angles and magnifications
  • Use relevant videos of products and product usage to help shoppers visualize how a product will work or look
  • Use mobile responsive video links such as YouTube

These tips can help improve the overall visual user experience, but in the next section, we’ll highlight more ways to keep shoppers coming back for more.

3. User Experience

Loading Speed

According to entrepreneur and influencer Neil Patel, the speed of your mobile website can impact sales and your Google ranking. Remember those high-quality images we just discussed? If you don’t compress and resize them, they can be one of the biggest culprits of slow page load times.

Check the speed of your page across devices with this Google PageSpeed Insights tool. You can test speed and read through recommendations to improve how your web pages load. If you already have a mobile site, use this Google Speed Scorecard tool to see how it stacks up.

Work to eliminate or reduce speed bottlenecks because, according to Google, people lose interest after just three seconds of waiting for pages to load.

Mobile Navigation

Clicking is to web browsing what tapping is to mobile. While some use a stylus, assume that website visitors are using their fingers to explore your site. Give users space to tap on what they want without the frustration of accidentally selecting an option because the buttons are too close.

Make it easy for your website visitors to learn the ins and outs of your site to perform tasks like adding items to a cart, checking out, adding items to a wishlist, signing up for a newsletter, or even enabling autofill to save time when shopping.

You can also consider adding features like highlighting selected buttons to help the shopper have a clear view of what they are choosing, therefore avoiding confusion and ensuring an expected outcome.

Mobile Optin Forms

You can use mobile optin campaigns to further connect with website visitors and increase the chances of future mobile conversion. An optin campaign can have a number of goals such as:

  • Rewarding mobile site visitors with a discount on their first purchase
  • Inviting shoppers to connect with a community run by your brand
  • Encouraging mobile website visitors to sign up for an email newsletter
  • Inviting shoppers to get notifications about a flash sale

The key here is to ensure that the optin design isn’t intrusive to the shopping experience, but rather positioned as a benefit that your mobile visitor can easily accept or deny.

Clear CTAs

A clear call to action or CTA is one way to produce a higher conversion rate. When you make it tappable, it takes the person straight into the intended action, such as making a purchase. Labels on buttons on the product page such as ‘add to cart’ should be tappable to boost mobile conversion and simplify usability.

Simple Checkout

At this point, it could go either way. You can have a stellar e-commerce conversion strategy that drives shoppers to the cart, but if the checkout process is complex once they arrive, you risk cart abandonment.

Here are some tips for designing a simple checkout process:

  • Reduce the number of steps to complete the purchase, focus on three to four steps instead of five or more
  • Offer an option to create an account for a first-time user to speed up future transactions
  • Offer an option to securely save payment data for future transactions
  • Make data fields easy to select and fill in
  • Offer multiple payment options such as a credit card, debit card, mobile payment, and a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option like Splitit
  • Make a clear CTA to complete the payment and provide a confirmation page

The confirmation is essential. Following up with an email or text message to share details such as the order number and how to get in touch with customer service can win shoppers over and make them feel confident about their purchase and remember, saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

Be sure to check out the Splitit Cart Abandonment Guide for more information about improving your site conversion rate. It’s a free resource you can download that teaches best practices to thwart cart abandonment and increase e-commerce conversion during the checkout process. 

Easy Payment Options

When you have limited payment options, you run the risk of losing your customer. Make selecting a payment option clear, easy and visually appealing by using logos for credit card issuers like Mastercard or Visa, payment gateways like PayPal, and mobile payments such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Be sure to also offer an alternative payment method like Splitit which allows your shoppers to buy now and pay over time without interest, credit checks or an application. Having a BNPL option can help increase your AOV, but it also helps you build good will by offering payment flexibility so your customers can get more of what they need immediately.

Be sure to take time to learn more about how Splitit works to support your strategy to increase your mobile e-commerce conversion rate.

4. Mobile Marketing and Advertising

Your website traffic is one KPI of whether your marketing and advertising efforts are effective. 

While marketing is your overall digital strategy for communicating your e-commerce store’s  message with your target audience, advertising is the part of that strategy that gets in front of their faces.

Wildly popular these days are mobile ads seen on apps like Instagram that offer a ‘shop now’ vibe and often feature a short video to entice the mobile user to take action. Other forms of advertising include:

  • Banner ads
  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Promoted social media ads
  • Rich media ads
  • Native ads
  • Interstitial mobile ads
  • Text ads

As you can see there are a multitude of ad types suitable for mobile advertising, particularly when it comes to social media. Fleshing out your marketing campaign will help you to determine which ones make sense for your business. In other words, research, research, research.

5. Customer Service

Never make it hard for your shoppers to be heard as it can make all of the difference. Some shoppers take time to see if they can reach an actual person, find a customer service chat, read FAQs, or email a business with pre-purchase questions.

If you’re advertising on social media, part of offering a good customer service experience is responding to the inquiries on social media threads. A non-responsive business can look suspicious in this age of fast-flowing information. 

Be visible, accessible, informative, and friendly to put shoppers’ minds at ease and watch your conversion rates skyrocket.

6. Testing

Once you’ve implemented changes to increase conversion rate optimization, such as mobile responsive design, the colors of design elements, or CTAs you’ll need to test everything out to ensure a successful setup. Optimization test tools like Optimizely can help you perform A/B testing, also known as split testing.

With split testing, you’ll divert your website traffic to two different versions of your mobile site. Half of your traffic will see version A and the other half will see version B. Each site will have a different look and feel so you can test our design elements, wording, headlines, font-sizes, and even the checkout experience.

Next you’ll monitor the resulting average conversion and make small adjustments in each iteration until you find the winning design. Split testing is a valuable practice to help you gauge the shopping experience of your website visitors.

7. Conclusion

As you have learned, mobile e-commerce conversion rate can be increased or decreased by the actions you take. At a minimum, starting with the mobile conversion topics discussed in this Guide can easily give you a leg up in the mobile e-commerce space. Conversion rate optimization requires many moving parts, but once that momentum builds not even the sky will be the limit for your brand.

To learn more about how Splitit can help you achieve your mobile conversion goals by offering BNPL alternatives, contact us today.