Is Your Website Mobile Ready? | eCommerce Africa

Is your Website Mobile Ready?    

For retailers, a mobile-ready website is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity. Mobile usage and mobile commerce in particular are growing remarkably fast. As part of this surge, e-commerce sales are expected to grow 17-19 percent, of which, mobile commerce is expected to grow more than twice that rate at 42 percent.1

45 percent of Smartphone owners now use their phones to make purchases online.2In many countries; more searches today take place on mobile devices than on computers. Eighty-two percent of Smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store.3

Mobile commerce is growing so rapidly that many retailers –a majority of small businesses as well as large international companies– now think “mobile first” for all of their online sales. However, some online storefronts are still not 100 percent mobile ready. A common mistake some retailers make is to assume that because their website looks great on a desktop, that it will still have the same impact on a mobile device. This assumption could cost you in lost sales.

So what can business owners do to ensure they are mobile ready this festive season? Below are six key tips:

  1. Have a mobile-ready site: Today it is imperative that your website payments screen works well on a variety of mobile devices and screen sizes. To do that, we recommend you build your website on a ‘responsive’ or ‘adaptive’ platform. A responsive or adaptive website is able to detect the device your customer is using and automatically resize your website to work best on that device.
  2. Be your own shopper: Be your own mystery shopper, or watch someone else navigate your site on a mobile device who hasn’t shopped with you before. Pay close attention to the frustrations that would drive a paying customer somewhere else. Where are they getting hung up? What did they expect in a purchase path – and what did they experience instead? Just two or three testers can help you uncover some of the bigger issues with shopping and checkout on your website.
  3. Simplify navigation and add pictures: Your goal should be to minimize data entry, clicking or zooming on your mobile site. Use big buttons, larger fonts, and a fixed navigation bar so customers can easily find what they are looking for. Also, a picture is worth a thousand words. Use simple, uncluttered and professional product images to sell your goods.
  4. Include easy to find checkout buttons and your phone number: It’s a good practice to have sticky ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Checkout’ buttons on screen. This makes it easier for customers to purchase, particularly during peak shopping days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and others. Also, include your customer service phone number frequently; especially where users might experience problems on information pages and throughout the checkout process. This will help reduce the number of people leaving your site.
  5. Perfect your mobile payment process: Another critical area of being mobile ready is to streamline your payment process to reduce cart abandonment. Allow guest checkout, minimal text entry, and use of a payment solution that is mobile-optimized. One such tool is PayPal One Touch, which allows customers to checkout with their PayPal account quickly from a merchant site without the need to enter credit cards or other additional information from their mobile phone. Simplifying this last mile is critical, but even more important on mobile to turn an ‘on the go browse’ into a sales conversion this festive season.

PayPal’s payment solutions are designed for mobile payments. They simplify the payment process, helping to reduce errors and increase conversion rates. For example, in a recent study commissioned by PayPal, checkout conversion is up to 44 percent higher for PayPal versus non-PayPal (debit or credit card) transactions4. PayPal saves your customers from the awkwardness (and possible danger) of entering credit and debit card information, and billing and shipping information – sometimes in a public place – on small screens.

  1. Consider a mobile app for your loyal, repeat customers: Mobile apps can be particularly effective when used for building and rewarding customer loyalty.. When well-designed, they provide a platform to establish and deepen customer connection. Through a mobile app you can offer perks such as reduced shipping rates to loyal customers. The upside is you can use this app to communicate with your loyal customer base all year round as well.


1. Bizrate Insights:

2. Internet Retailer, “U.S. e-commerce grows 14.6% in 2015,” by Stefany Zaroban. February 17, 2016

3. Internet Retailer, “U.S. e-commerce grows 14.6% in 2015,” by Stefany Zaroban. February 17, 2016

4. As reported in Nielsen’s Online Panel research for activity occurring from July–November 2015, which compared PayPal transactions to non-PayPal transactions on sites that offer PayPal as a payment option. Nielsen measured 125,000 households’ online behavior across 10 SMB merchants