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3 best practices for mcommerce

October 24, 2013

This is a guest post by Jenni Tolman, Marketing Manager for Miva Merchant, an all-inclusive ecommerce solution.


Mobile commerce is the new frontier for e-commerce businesses. Consumers carry their mobile devices around with them everywhere. Whether shoppers are in a mall or at the beach, they are able to purchase products from their mobile devices.

Adobe researched mcommerce and found out how the mobile consumer’s mind works. They surveyed over 3,000 mobile users in Europe and North America to provide online businesses with valuable insights, and found that 6 out of 7 of those surveyed used their mobile device to purchase a product online this year. Mobile purchases will account for 38.4 billion USD in global sales, which is approximately 15% of all e-commerce sales (eMarketer). In addition, this number expected to grow within the next year.

The need for e-commerce businesses to optimize their mobile websites is more important than ever. Online businesses can follow these best practices in order to provide their customers with the best possible mobile experience:

  1. Reduce the number of touch events to conversions
    The fewer steps it takes to buy something online, the higher the chance of conversion. Retailers can optimize mobile sites to have fewer touch events by cleaning up unnecessary clutter from their mobile stores. When it comes to mobile stores — the simpler, the better.

    Each of these touch points on a mobile store can be simplified for ease of use:

    • Home page
    • Site navigation
    • Search
    • Search filters
    • Product pages
    • Add to cart buttons
    • View shopping cart
    • Check out process

    The easier each touch point is to use, the more conversions a store will receive. Mobile users want to find products quickly and purchase them through a quick checkout process. Using Passbook on the iPhone is a great way to make mobile purchases easier. Small devices can be limiting, so the more ways businesses can simplify the purchasing process, the better.


  3. Optimize the mobile site for faster mobile interactions
    Speed is possibly the most important thing in a mobile shopping experience. If the webpage is not loading fast enough, the consumer will move on within a matter of seconds. Forrester reports that mobile users have a lower tolerance for slow websites on their devices, and nearly twice as many mobile users would leave a slow website than those on a desktop computer, and according to the Aberdeen Group, “a 1-second delay in mobile page load time equals a 7% loss in conversion.”

    In order to speed up a mobile store, optimize for speed by implementing these best practices:

    • Use CSS to create page elements like buttons
    • Compile multiple scripts that are used together & minify them
    • Minimize the number of redirects your site has
    • Fit images to the exact width rather than resizing them
    • Get rid of needless hidden elements
    • Use large, simple buttons
    • Take advantage of mobile display controls such as pinch and zoom

    Rich content is still valuable on a mobile device, so websites should not have to compromise content for speed. Often times, simply migrating to a more robust and scalable ecommerce platform can do the trick.


    Make the product search navigation easier
    Mobile users have a strong intent to purchase when navigating online stores, which makes the search function that much more important. Here are some tips to improve mobile search:

    • Implement analytics from day 1 to better understand how customers use the search function
    • Carefully watch the search phrases that consumers use
    • Use auto suggest for consumer searches
    • Make sure that the search box is highly visible

    Since mobile devices are small, it can be difficult for shoppers to accurately type and search for products. Smart ecommerce retailers recognize common typos and direct consumers to the intended product.

    Optimizing an ecommerce site for mobile use may seem like a daunting task, but stores can quickly optimize the mobile experience by implementing these 3 best practices. The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep the user’s experience simple. A simple mobile experience will increase sales and encourage customers to return for more.

Lauren Jow

Lauren is responsible for Ingram Micro Commerce's brand experience and creative initiatives in both digital and physical spaces. She's excited by big changes and big challenges.