Years ago, the big story in retail was the shopping revolution brought about by the internet. But as revolutionary as shopping online from home may once have seemed, it’s now old news. Today the revolution is located within people’s pockets, and it’s not always in the home, it’s on the go – and your web content needs to fit in.
Smart phones and other mobile devices, such as tablets, are becoming an ever more important part of people’s daily internet habits, and a growing number of people are using them at every stage of the shopping process, whether they’re looking for products or services.
According to research presented by Econsultancy, mobile phones account on average for almost a third of traffic to websites in the UK. 44% of smartphone users meanwhile say that they have used their devices to perform shopping activities while in a bricks and mortar store, such as comparing prices, researching product features, or purchasing a product online. Actual mobile e-commerce sales in the UK stood at £5bn in 2013 according to a recent study by Deloitte Digital, and they predict that these sales will more than double by 2017, to £12bn.
Making your site mobile
So, the statistics highlight the importance of mobile internet usage in 21st century retail. What can your business do to leverage this information to generate additional online sales? The key lies in providing an online experience for mobile users that is at least as good as on desktop computers, and one which is tailored for mobile devices and the situations in which they are used. To briefly touch on technical details, your mobile website should be:
Fast to load (preferably under a second, according to Google)
Displayed in the correct size and resolution for mobile screens
Intuitive to navigate
But of equal importance for increasing mobile conversions for your site is the actual textual content your put on it. When designing content for your mobile site you or your copywriter should take into account a number of things:
1. Screens are generally smaller – This of course means that fewer words will legibly fit on the screen. Therefore you should reduce words counts accordingly, as few people favour pages where they have to scroll endlessly downwards.
2. People are often on the move while accessing – People may be looking at your website while in a store or on a bus. Their time is limited, so get to the point as quickly as possible. Break text into small paragraphs and signpost it with sub-headings wherever relevant.
3. Mobile may be used as a ‘second screen’ whilst watching TV – You may not have your visitor’s undivided attention. In addition to the points above, include a bold and clear call to action that compels them to take the next step.
You should of course also bear in mind the usual guidelines for writing web content in general (check out our article ‘How to write for the web’ for a primer). It’s worth bearing in mind that a professional copywriter or agency can help you get to grips with mobile.