Making Mobile Part of Your Cyber Monday Preparation

December 9, 2014

The big post-turkey shopping day is fast approaching and chances are you’re already preparing your e-commerce site for Cyber Monday. But what are you doing to optimize the shopping experience for your mobile users?

The big post-turkey shopping day is fast approaching and chances are you’re already preparing your e-commerce site for Cyber Monday. But what are you doing to optimize the shopping experience for your mobile users?

Fourty three percent of the top 100 brands surveyed by the Internet Advertising Bureau do not have a mobile-optimized site. And those that do need to better understand the mobile customer experience and mobile user behavior. The “on-the-go” environment, task-at-hand and physical device constraints all differ, often dramatically.

Even with little in the way of best practices in this nascent channel, we still know that users are looking for a site or an app that loads quickly, displays clearly, is easy to find, easy to use and includes location-based features when appropriate.

So how can you make the most of your mobile initiatives as part of your Cyber Monday prep? Here are some tips to get you started, whether you are optimizing mobile web content or native apps:

1. Optimize Content for Your Audience Segments

Just like with your desktop site, it’s important to understand your mobile audience and fortunately, your web analytics or testing data can tell you a lot about your visitors, such as:

  • Preferred markup language
  • Keyboard type
  • Screen dimensions and rotation support
  • Browser capabilities
  • Cellular network data speeds
  • Mobile operating system

Using this information, you can segment your audience and test the most appropriate content to them. You might do that by targeting them based on a single criteria or a combination. Here are some examples of how you could combine targeting criteria:

  • Single: This is based on a single criteria or segment of your traffic. For example, this could be “All U.S. traffic” or “All mobile traffic.” This is a good way to gauge if key segments of your traffic are growing or shrinking.
  • 2-way Combination: For example, using the above criteria, this segment could be visitors that were referred by Google and looked at your mobile site and added an item to cart but never completed the purchase.
  • 3-way Combination: This combination helps surface interesting segments that are more specific. For instance, a segment that is based on first-time mobile visitors, who were referred from Google, within a specific major media market.
  • 4-way Combination: This level of segmentation can get very granular, but allows for interesting targeting opportunities. An example of this is new first-time visitors; referred by Google Ads, on a touchscreen device, within a geo-targeted area.

Stuck for ideas on what to test? Think about how to:

  • Simplify the mobile experience wherever possible. Provide the most important information first. Not sure? Test it!
  • Make the buttons and other calls-to-action easily tappable (“finger friendly”). Test different variations to see which ones your mobile visitors prefer.
  • Minimize the need for zooming in or out, as well as scrolling — try to display what you need within the confines of the screen.
  • Test the search box. Because you cannot fit all of your desktop site’s information in a mobile site or app, the search box becomes even more important.

2. Optimize for Speed

We all know that one of the most common complaints of mobile browsing is speed. Potential customers can be lost in milliseconds. According to Econsultancy, the average response time for 14 industry-leading mobile sites is 4.73 seconds … but Amazon’s is 2.85 seconds and the company has found that sales increase 1% for every 100 milliseconds it shaves off download times. One of the main performance bottlenecks is JavaScript code — a problem that’s magnified on mobile devices and mobile data networks.

Consider accelerating the delivery and rendering of mobile content through multiple on-the-fly optimization techniques (such as concatenating, minifying and compressing resources; extending browser cache; relocating JavaScript and CSS on the page for better progressive rendering; and optimizing images, among other techniques).

When you optimize for speed, measure your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) including bounce rate, conversion rate, average order value, abandonment and compound metrics that look at multiple behaviors both within and across multiple visits. That way you’ll be able to understand the effect that speed has on your mobile KPIs before and after a test.

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of CMSWire. You can read the original version here.