How to Fix the Low Conversion Rate On Mobile Devices

The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Shawn Arora, the founder of LaunchSpark, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI.

Let’s face it. ECommerce on mobile phones is not as profitable as it is on desktop or even tablets. According to one report, the average conversion rate on desktop is 2.06%. This is in comparison to the average conversation rate on mobile devices, which is just about 0.55%. The average revenue per visit on mobile phones is also low at $0.87 when compared to $4.11 on desktop and $2.58 on tablets. With that in mind, does it even make sense to target mobile devices as a platform for eCommerce?

It definitely does. The engagement rate among users on mobile phones is much higher than it is over desktop. This is not taking into account the fact that over two billion mobile devices will be used to make a transaction this year. The opportunity cost of ignoring mobile is way too high in Ecommerce.

Why is the conversion low?

Before we go ahead and find a way to improve the low conversion on mobile devices, it is important to understand why they are low in the first place. A survey published by Mapp Digital found that difficulty with site navigation is one of the prime reasons why mobile shoppers aren’t as easy to convert as their desktop counterparts. Other significant challenges include problems with typing in information, concerns over security, and too many steps that mobile users find arduous to complete.

Navigational issues

One reason engagement rates are lower on desktop is because users have greater freedom to toggle between various sites. Online buyers tend to check product reviews from multiple sources before they make a purchase. Such buyers are also known to check the pricing, shipping fee and delivery date from multiple sellers before buying from any one particular location.

One way to fix this navigational issue is by making it easier for your visitors to check third party reviews about your products from within your interface. This way, your buyers can glean the information they are seeking without having to exit your platform. This is a great way to fix the navigational issues and make sure that the user stays on your site. If you are a business that competes on price, it is also a good idea to highlight the higher prices from your competitors. This way, your visitors can be reassured about receiving the best deal when they browse your products.

Difficulty typing information

Typing in key information like their credit card details and shipping instructions can be a painful process for mobile users, especially those with the fat finger syndrome. The fix to this is quite straightforward – make it easier for your users to type these long strings of text. Features like the ability to preload saved text is helpful when you have a high proportion of returning visitors. It also comes in handy when you want to improve customer experience by removing some steps from the payment process.

In other cases, it is a good idea to offer alternate payment options like Paypal or Android Pay, which allows users to preload information from these third party services that your customers may have already signed up with. One look at Exchange, Shopify’s internal marketplace, will give you an idea of how effective this strategy can be. Most of the high value online commerce stores on sale are integrated with gateways like Paypal or Android Pay while websites that are being sold in the low hundreds only have the default Shopify payment gateway.

Security concerns

There are some real security concerns to the buyer when they transact over a mobile device. The availability of screen real estate on desktops makes it possible for retailers to prominently showcase trust symbols to potential customers. This is not the case with smartphone screens. While one solution could be to showcase your security certificates in a more prominent section of your website (on the header, perhaps?), this can distract your customer and take their attention away from the buying process. One easy fix is to partner with third party payment gateways that have high trustworthiness. For example, integrating your site with Paypal could mean that the user performs the transaction on Paypal instead of your website. This offers higher reassurance and helps build higher conversions. You may also offer other options like Cash-on-Delivery (CoD) that can bump your conversion rate up.

The mobile form factor has inherent disadvantages that are not going away anytime soon. But it’s also worth pointing out that consumers are increasingly moving away from desktops towards mobile for internet consumption. The onus is on the seller to identify the roadblocks that exist and overcome them so that your customers can seamlessly execute their transactions.