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This article was published on November 2, 2015

    11 mistakes e-commerce companies make on mobile

    11 mistakes e-commerce companies make on mobile
    Scott Gerber
    Story by

    Scott Gerber

    Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

    If you’re an e-commerce site considering launching on mobile, there are a few best practices you need to know. Most of them seem obvious – for instance, make sure it’s easy to buy your product. However, you’d be surprised how many of these slip under the radar of an e-commerce mobile designer. To make sure you’re not forgetting anything, I asked 11 founders from YEC the following:

    What is the biggest mistake or omission you see e-commerce companies make on their mobile sites?

    Their best answers are below:

    1. Weak Navigation Ability

    Jonathan LongAs mobile use increases, more consumers are becoming comfortable purchasing directly from their mobile devices. Many e-commerce sites are a complete nightmare to navigate, especially ones with several categories and product lines. If you want a great example of a large e-commerce website that has a great mobile experience, check out Best Buy’s website on your mobile device. It has easy navigation, and even though they have an enormous amount of product categories, you can still find exactly what you are looking for with ease. A poor mobile experience will push away potential sales. – Jonathan LongMarket Domination Media

    2. A Poor Checkout Experience

    Charlie GrahamMost e-commerce companies today (especially fashion-related e-commerce companies) are pretty good at showing items. But most still have a mobile copy of their desktop checkout experience. Companies should build checkout from the ground up for mobile, taking advantage of mobile-specific features (like using specific keyboards for different fields), dividing up forms into many more pages and getting rid of unnecessary fields (i.e. not asking for a city/state if you have a zipcode). – Charlie GrahamShop It To Me, Inc.

    3. Too Many Fields and Forms

    Nicolas GremionFor many people, typing on mobile devices is a chore. Therefore, the fewer fields and forms a customer needs to fill out the better. If you require registration, offer options such as Facebook or Google. If you require checkout, offer options such as PayPal, Amazon Checkout or Fortumo, for example. If you require shipping info, make sure they can check “same as billing.” Go through the entire process yourself and see how the average person could accomplish what you desire with as few hurdles as possible. – Nicolas

    4. No Sharing Capability

    Brooke BergmanSocial is everything these days. If someone is on the fence about buying something, give them the ability to easily ask their online friends. Either way, they’re spreading the word about your business without you lifting a finger. – Brooke BergmanAllied Business Network Inc.


    5. No Remarketing Strategy

    Andrew NammingaCollect their info early in the transaction, that way if they back out at the last minute you can email them a coupon code and ask that they reconsider. If you don’t want to put off customers by requesting an email early on, set up an Adwords remarketing campaign, this will prioritize the delivery of ads to people who have recently visited your website. – Andrew NammingaAndesign

    6. Lack of Optimization

    Stanley MeytinThe biggest mistake companies make is not making sure that their site is compatible with all mobile devices. It is important that the site is optimized for every device possible in a very simple manner that is easy to navigate. So much money is lost when the time was not spent making sure this is accomplished. – Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

    7. Missing Full-Sized Product Image

    Matt DoyleAny images should open onto their own pages when clicked for full-size view. It’s difficult enough to look at product images on a phone, and it’s even harder if I’m trying to navigate around your page elements and avoid hitting buttons to other locations. These kinds of UI issues can make a bigger difference than you might think for conversions. – Matt DoyleExcel Builders

    8. Invasive Pop-Ups

    Dave NevogtExcessive use of pop-ups is always a bad idea for e-commerce, but for mobile sites in particular it’s not good. Mobile users want ease and speed above anything else, and your pop-up can become an annoying distraction from their shopping process. In my case, if I get more than two pop-ups on a mobile site, I’m gone. I’m sure plenty of other consumers are the same. The only exception to this rule is if I’m given the opportunity to sign in via my social accounts, because that’s a pop-up that helps me versus a pop-up that asks for my email, which serves the e-commerce company more. – Dave

    9. Lack of Responsiveness

    Jayna CookeIf your mobile responsiveness is not great, then it’s really hard for your consumer to shop or navigate via your mobile site. This would especially hurt yourbusiness if your mobile site was the consumer’s first impression of your product. Your mobile site also needs to be extremely user friendly because of this. It is important to spend time developing the mobile site before rushing to release it. – Jayna CookeEVENTup

    10. Failure to Prominently Display an 800 Number

    Kristopher JonesThe biggest mistake e-commerce companies make on their mobile websites is a failure to prominently display a phone number. Unlike the web where it’s easy to navigate FAQs, read through long form content and compare multiple products at once, mobile users demand simple navigation and the ability to quickly call customer support to get questions addressed quickly. Keep in mind that mobile users demand a higher level of touch, especially if your e-commerce site wasn’t designed specifically for mobile. Prominently display an 800 number at all times and watch your sales rise. – Kristopher

    11. Missing Filters

    Shilpi SharmaI shop online because it saves me time by giving an option to filter for exactly what I’m looking for. I can filter by brand, size, customer rating, price ranges, etc. Not having those filters available on mobile sites takes away my motivation to shop online. I also hate when commerce companies do not leverage the gestures to their potential and simply convert the desktop site to mobile. – Shilpi SharmaKvantum Inc.

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