Home Forums Selling online Upgrading to a mobile device friendly shopping cart

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  • #993026
    612Sue
    Member
    • Total posts: 80

    Hi All,

    Its been a while since I looked in here, but I thought I’d share something ;-)

    We have had our online shop going for a number of years and due to the niche we are in get plenty of sales, however due to the age of our shop it wasn’t really mobile device friendly.

    We ran a new shopping cart that was designed for mobile devices side by side with our old one and the difference was immediate and noticeable, goes to show reviewing your website and customer shopping experience needs constant attention. I am now wondering how much business we have lost in the last year due to this.

    It came to a head when one of our prospective customers complained that they didn’t even own a desktop computer so it was almost impossible to order!

    We are still migrating over but thought this might be useful info, has anyone had a similar experience?

    Thanks!

    Sue
    old store http://www.survivalstorehouse.com
    new store http://www.shop.survivalstorehouse.com.au

    #1189398
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963

    Mobile devices now account for over 50% of traffic to most websites. So if your site is not mobile device friendly you will miss business opportunity. Google and Bing are also looking for a website to be mobile friendly and will rank your website down if that is not the case. You can test your site for mobile readiness on Google at the Google Mobile Test page.

    There are different ways to make a site mobile friendly you can use responsive design, you can have a dedicated mobile view or style or you can use an app. Any could be worthwhile depending on the business, products and demographics. Lots of people jump straight to responsive but that can be expensive and can create much more complex web code to be maintained. We have used all methods and it is horses for courses.

    For the OP your new website on 3D Cart is fine but I hope you are going to get rid of the 3D Cart URL.

    John

    #1189402
    jtco
    Member
    • Total posts: 31

    I was looking at your site about 2 weeks ago Sue – bit of a coincidence for me.

    Keep an eye on your font choice, size, spacing etc. Mobile users can find links a little hard to hit if font size is not quite large enough.

    #1189403
    612Sue
    Member
    • Total posts: 80

    Hi, Yes we are making small changes everyday at the moment based on feedback and learning more about the 3dcart software. Thanks for checking in ;-)

    Sue

    #1189404
    Reenie@Striking Stitches
    Member
    • Total posts: 36

    Early this year I saw the post about websites needing to be mobile friendly from the end of April – but did nothing. During May and June new enquiries trickled to a stop. Early in July my partner and I used the Google test and suggestions and made changes. Within two weeks things improved.
    The OP is right, things keep changing, especially with technology.
    We ignore such messages at our own peril.

    #1189405
    Adam Prince
    Member
    • Total posts: 9

    Athough still using a laptop for design work, I’ve converted to doing most of my everyday online stuff on a large-ish tablet in landscape mode with desktop version of sites…

    Recently while testing templates for one of my new online stores, I finally became aware (now I’m a convert), that many so called mobile friendly designs don’t work so well with one touch screen devices, especially for such things as hover-over menus with sub-categories, where touching the main category to open causes to be immediately directed to the category rather than being presented the option to select a sub-category where present…

    Something for designers to consider, although my choice of weapon is android, from what I’ve learned i-pad users perhaps face the same dilemma.

    #1189406
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    John Debrincat, post: 222269, member: 2969 wrote:
    Mobile devices now account for over 50% of traffic to most websites. So if your site is not mobile device friendly you will miss business opportunity. Google and Bing are also looking for a website to be mobile friendly and will rank your website down if that is not the case.
    Hi John D,
    This is not an attack on you. You’ve seen me recommend your services to e-com business owners on FS over many years. That said, I’d be delighted to read the source of your statistic.

    I know Google has said that more than 50% of its searches are made on mobile devices but that does not translate into it being true for “most websites”.

    There are a handful of huge sites like social media sites, major news sites, vast online retailers like Amazon and Ebay, many large entertainment sites and take-away food sites that consume a disproportionate volume of the mobile web activity.

    Could it be your 50% stat relates to searches on mobile phones or time spent on mobile phone web access?

    I don’t want to be argumentative. I’m just trying to provide useful and relevant info on the topic of the mobile web for small business owners.

    I certainly don’t want to disagree with this thread’s basic point of the importance of the mobile web but I suggest there are monumental differences to be seen based on parameters like the types of industry, size of company and therefore resources available.

    What will also come into play will be variations based on whether we are talking about B2B vs B2C markets and the mix of importance of the different types of referrals (i.e. generic SE referrals, social media, direct or email programs) in the marketing mix.

    Here are some examples I can provide of mobile phone access to some small business websites that are all mobile phone enabled:

    A bricks and mortar retailer:
    Mobile phone traffic = 1% of all traffic
    Total monthly visits around 4,500. 82% from SEs

    An e-commerce site with no physical presence:
    Mobile phone traffic = 23% of traffic
    Mobile Pages / visit = 2.4
    Mobile Time on site = 1 min 46 secs
    The last two parameters are around half those of the desktop and tablet users
    69% of all traffic from SE referrals

    A catering company (no retail presence):
    Mobile phone traffic = 20% of traffic
    Mobile Pages / visit = 2.3
    Mobile Time on site = 2 min 07 secs
    The last two parameters are around 66% of desktop and tablet users
    89% of all traffic from SE referrals.
    A key audience for this business is school formal function catering. I.e. Big users of mobile phones.

    A web designer/developer
    Mobile phone traffic = 8% of traffic
    Mobile Time on site = 20 seconds
    Mobile phone time on site = 10% of the average.
    41% of all traffic from SE referrals

    The range of mobile phone access to this small group of websites is 1% to 23%. I’ve never seen stats from a small business website where mobile phone access is anywhere near 50%.

    For certain types of businesses, it seems all most mobile phone users are doing is looking up phone numbers, locations, hours and other quick information.

    For B2B marketing companies like the web designer example, all the stats I’ve seen indicate that desktop is by far the most important access device.

    Let me reiterate, mobile enabled websites are important!

    Here are some of the major mobile website problems as I see them:

    • Business owners do not understand the complexity of going mobile
    • Many web designers/developers also don’t understand the complexity of going mobile
    • Most of the mobile enhanced sites I see are not SE-friendly
    • It is impossible to communicate the same messages and images on a tiny mobile phone screen as it is on a large desktop monitor
    • It is much harder to read a tiny mobile phone screen that can have the sun obscuring it or in-transit use shaking the screen
    • People on mobile phones tend to listen to audio or view pics or videos rather than read text
    • It is much harder to type on a tiny mobile phone pad than it is on a full sized desktop keyboard
    • Mobile phone delivery of the web in Aust. is SO SLOW and access can be patchy

    Right now I am seeing business owners being hassled into spending money on mobile enhancement of their websites by many email spamming web designers/developers who have no real knowledge of what they are doing.

    All many of these spamming developers seem to know is how to grab a design theme from an open source CMS which resizes to mobile phone screens.

    IMHO, this sort of garbage mobile enhancement service is more likely to hurt a business owner’s website traffic.

    I don’t see much discussion about how websites designed with a “mobile first” strategy can decimate generic SE referrals.

    IMHO, for the sake of small business owners, we really do need to promote more informed discussion around a very complex issues like this.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1189407
    aaron.miller
    Member
    • Total posts: 117

    I’m with JohnW on this,
    If I’m out and about I might use my mobile phone to quickly lookup a businesses address, or phone number.
    I might also jump on my mobile to quickly check the price of something I want to buy online vs buying from the shop I’m standing in.
    If I’m at home I wouldn’t dream of surfing the web on the mobile, the iPad does a much better job.

    #1189408
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    JohnW, post: 223006, member: 6375 wrote:
    Hi John D,
    This is not an attack on you. You’ve seen me recommend your services to e-com business owners on FS over many years. That said, I’d be delighted to read the source of your statistic.

    I know Google has said that more than 50% of its searches are made on mobile devices but that does not translate into it being true for “most websites”.

    There are a handful of huge sites like social media sites, major news sites, vast online retailers like Amazon and Ebay, many large entertainment sites and take-away food sites that consume a disproportionate volume of the mobile web activity.

    Could it be your 50% stat relates to searches on mobile phones or time spent on mobile phone web access?

    I don’t want to be argumentative. I’m just trying to provide useful and relevant info on the topic of the mobile web for small business owners.

    I certainly don’t want to disagree with this thread’s basic point of the importance of the mobile web but I suggest there are monumental differences to be seen based on parameters like the types of industry, size of company and therefore resources available.

    What will also come into play will be variations based on whether we are talking about B2B vs B2C markets and the mix of importance of the different types of referrals (i.e. generic SE referrals, social media, direct or email programs) in the marketing mix.

    Here are some examples I can provide of mobile phone access to some small business websites that are all mobile phone enabled:

    A bricks and mortar retailer:
    Mobile phone traffic = 1% of all traffic
    Total monthly visits around 4,500. 82% from SEs

    An e-commerce site with no physical presence:
    Mobile phone traffic = 23% of traffic
    Mobile Pages / visit = 2.4
    Mobile Time on site = 1 min 46 secs
    The last two parameters are around half those of the desktop and tablet users
    69% of all traffic from SE referrals

    A catering company (no retail presence):
    Mobile phone traffic = 20% of traffic
    Mobile Pages / visit = 2.3
    Mobile Time on site = 2 min 07 secs
    The last two parameters are around 66% of desktop and tablet users
    89% of all traffic from SE referrals.
    A key audience for this business is school formal function catering. I.e. Big users of mobile phones.

    A web designer/developer
    Mobile phone traffic = 8% of traffic
    Mobile Time on site = 20 seconds
    Mobile phone time on site = 10% of the average.
    41% of all traffic from SE referrals

    The range of mobile phone access to this small group of websites is 1% to 23%. I’ve never seen stats from a small business website where mobile phone access is anywhere near 50%.

    For certain types of businesses, it seems all most mobile phone users are doing is looking up phone numbers, locations, hours and other quick information.

    For B2B marketing companies like the web designer example, all the stats I’ve seen indicate that desktop is by far the most important access device.

    Let me reiterate, mobile enabled websites are important!

    Here are some of the major mobile website problems as I see them:

    • Business owners do not understand the complexity of going mobile
    • Many web designers/developers also don’t understand the complexity of going mobile
    • Most of the mobile enhanced sites I see are not SE-friendly
    • It is impossible to communicate the same messages and images on a tiny mobile phone screen as it is on a large desktop monitor
    • It is much harder to read a tiny mobile phone screen that can have the sun obscuring it or in-transit use shaking the screen
    • People on mobile phones tend to listen to audio or view pics or videos rather than read text
    • It is much harder to type on a tiny mobile phone pad than it is on a full sized desktop keyboard
    • Mobile phone delivery of the web in Aust. is SO SLOW and access can be patchy

    Right now I am seeing business owners being hassled into spending money on mobile enhancement of their websites by many email spamming web designers/developers who have no real knowledge of what they are doing.

    All many of these spamming developers seem to know is how to grab a design theme from an open source CMS which resizes to mobile phone screens.

    IMHO, this sort of garbage mobile enhancement service is more likely to hurt a business owner’s website traffic.

    I don’t see much discussion about how websites designed with a “mobile first” strategy can decimate generic SE referrals.

    IMHO, for the sake of small business owners, we really do need to promote more informed discussion around a very complex issues like this.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    Wow JohnW that is one hell of a long answer to tell me I am wrong.

    So let me reiterate what I said. From data that we have been collecting for over 4 years based on all of our customers websites (mostly SMEs) over 50% of the TRAFFIC comes from mobile devices. Of course I am not the only person to report similar statistics.

    You can find a very informative and information packed article on Smart Insights by Danyl Bosomworth he quotes a lot of information about the use of various devices.

    It is key to note that there is an increasing number of people who do not own a desktop or laptop (or tablet) but use a smartphone like a iPhone 6s Plus or similar android device. These have huge processing capabilities and great web browsing and data management. So my prediction is that you can expect that 50% to grow rapidly.

    As to the points that you raised in your post I think that you need to understand that change is inevitable and so business owners and developers just have to adapt to the change. In terms of the devices itself and speed etc I think you will find with the latest generation of devices and 4G then those issue are going away.

    Regards

    John

    #1189409
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    John Debrincat, post: 223022, member: 2969 wrote:
    Wow JohnW that is one hell of a long answer to tell me I am wrong.
    Regards

    John
    Hi JohnD,
    I’m not out to pick a fight or prove anyone right or wrong here.

    There are many articles about the mobile web where I find it hard to tell whether the author is addressing

    • Smartphones vs all mobile devices,
    • access via apps vs websites and/or
    • whether it is about time spent on sites vs traffic accesses.

    Much of the Bosomworth article seems to be about the time spent accessing the web on all mobile devices. Bosomworth, it seems is also including mobile access by apps in the article. (One of his article refs: “89% of consumer media time in mobile apps, 11% in mobile web according to latest statistics by Nielsen

    With respect, he is not saying that over 50% of most website’s traffic will be from mobile devices. He is also not saying that e-com site owners must develop a mobile app. Far from it…

    It would be totally misleading for people to suggest that, if 89% of mobile time is spent on apps, that small business owners should rush into buying an app to promote their businesses online. I’m already receiving a couple of spam emails per day making just this sort of claim.

    What I’m trying to do is promote an informed discussion where folk with your level of e-com knowledge and experience can help educate FS members about the complexities, pitfalls and dangers they will meet in this new mobile world.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    For E-com Business Owners,
    I’ve only got one mobile enhanced e-com site where I can quote traffic accesses via mobile phones. As it happens it is a site that sells mobile phone accessories. It has been active as an e-com site for well over 10 years and Google has indexed thousands of its pages. It has been using Facebook marketing for over six years.

    Source of site traffic:
    SEs = 66%
    Social media = 1%
    Direct = 24%

    There is a bunch of email marketing being used by this site which is why “Direct” access is so high.

    Over 60% of the site visitors are “new” and it is firmly focussed on Aust customers. (78% of site visits.)

    As you can see, my knowledge of e-com sites is mostly theoretical. I’d be delighted to see examples from online marketers who have more practical experience in this website type situation.

    What I’m reading is a bunch of surveys that suggest that in the mobile world, e-commerce is rushing into an unprecedented level of contraction where the big players will get to own the markets and small business e-com sites will disappear unless that have very unique products that are very tightly focussed and a very effective marketing program.

    From a SE referral perspective, what I believe I can see is a very large bunch of difficulties for e-commerce sites that have popped up in the last couple of years and which have nothing to do with whether a site is mobile enhanced or not.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1189410
    smalley9
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    I think both John’s are getting somewhat off track here. 612Sue is asking for some feedback on her site. Reenie is correct that Google announced back in April that it set a preference for mobile friendly websites, when a user performed a search from a mobile/smart phone…given the increased use of phones and tablets by users.

    612Sue, your new site’s homepage is considered mobile friendly according to Google’s test page:

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.survivalstorehouse.com.au

    You may wish to test the other pages as well, JohnD refers to this link too:

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

    I agree with jtco’s comment about the font size and spacing of elements on the pages.
    Something else I would consider is removing the logo from the large image in the header (ie. making it separate) and perhaps even making the content within the image text based. Some users may have difficulty reading the text in the image and it may assist with SEO having some text based content with relevant search terms.

    Anyhoo, that’s my 10 cents worth. Good luck.

    #1189411
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    smalley9, post: 223100, member: 24622 wrote:
    I think both John’s are getting somewhat off track here. 612Sue is asking for some feedback on her site.
    Hi Craig,
    Quite right to get us back on track…

    Sue,
    On my sized phone screen:

    • The header graphic text is too small to be read
    • The menu items are too close together to use easily

    Important missing info:

    • What credit cards do you accept?

    This info is on your desktop site but seems to have been omitted from your mobile site. I suggest this info should be on every mobile page.

    Publishing mobile enhanced web pages should be the easy bit. Marketing to mobile users can throw up very different issues for you to consider.

    Here are a some articles you may want to read to help equip you for what lies ahead:

    2 Oct 15: Responsive website or mobile app: what is best for your business?
    “To cater to the growing preference for m-commerce and to perform well against Google’s new search ranking criteria, the question most business owners are grappling with is whether to go for a responsive website or a mobile app.”

    Jul 15: What Mobile Shopping Apps Are Most Popular With Millennials?
    “Due to limitations in mobile web, many companies are seizing the opportunity by developing native mobile shopping apps.”

    “1 in every 2 Millennials has downloaded a mobile shopping app.”

    PS. I am NOT advocating that small business e-commerce sites jump into app production. I am trying to warn that this is a major form of online competition whose impact on your business should be considered.

    May 15: Mobile commerce has a visibility problem

    “But despite this significant market, mobile commerce is not turning into a windfall for every retailer.

    Rather, the top U.S. retailers such as eBay and Amazon generate almost 40 percent of ecommerce transactions from mobile, per Criteo. Meaning that thousands of smaller retailers will be left to duke it out for the remaining percent of that pie.”

    Jul 15: Overcoming SEO Issues Plaguing eCommerce Websites – An Interview with Kunle Campbell

    “3. What are the 5 biggest SEO challenges online stores have to overcome these days? Have the latest Google updates made it more difficult to optimize E-commerce sites?

    Sites fundamentally still get their information architecture wrong and out of sync with keyword research based structure.”

    Note that, G does not “penalise” non-mobile enhanced sites, it gives mobile enhanced sites a very small boost in its rankings. This boost is so weak that currently the top 2 listed pages for “mainstay rations” and “emergency food rations” are not mobile enhanced.

    Good luck,
    JohnW

    #1189412
    Jase’s Books
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    I’ve been selling online for 6 full years now. Sales grew steadily until Feb 2014 when my particular niche market was thrown open to competitors – competition on visibility, online ad bidding and search position had a big effect.

    The Google push to mobile friendly sites in April 2015 did NOT have a measurable effect – in fact the effort made into overcoming competition has flowed through and kept the business in steady growth.

    I do expect to see further growth when I finally move to a mobile friendly site, but so far there has not been a negative effect from remaining as is. So any negative effect may be timed differently for different sites depending on a range of factors including customer loyalty, level of service and competition.

    There are downsides to upgrading a website – bugs, Google ranking, the time involved. So far, time and money lost in making the change (or breaking the site – especially during the Christmas run) has outweighed the potential benefits.

    For me, I’m waiting for the low sales period to minimise any damage.

    #1189413
    rodion
    Member
    • Total posts: 3

    Hi Sue,

    I’ve opened your site on a mobile devices and found a small usability issue.
    You main banner (with your email, phone and etc) is displayed on every page and looks confusing on inner pages. Especially on product details, my cart and checkout pages.
    I think it worth displaying it on your main page only.
    It takes a halt of the mobile screen and get user attention away from the main content.
    On your checkout page it’s so easy to click on it and leave the checkout process. It can seriously harm your conversions on mobiles.

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