ecommerce-responsive-designWith some experts predicting mobile ecommerce to account for 16% of this year's holiday shopping, getting your mobile shopping site in shape is crucial. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have historically held the highest shopping numbers for the year, but with mobile devices, Thanksgiving might just win out for ecommerce. With the holidays right around the corner, you’ve got very little time to prepare.

What happens if your mobile sites aren’t very user friendly? Well, customers become downright Grinchy. Take a look.

Who Shops on Mobile Sites?

According to recent data from Skava, 71% of smartphone shoppers do so on mobile sites. That’s a lot of people making purchases from small screens. Unfortunately, 88% of those shoppers say the mobile shopping experience wasn’t a good one. Was your ecommerce site one that didn’t pass the test?

What Happens When Shopping Goes Sour?

The infographic from Skava suggests 29% of consumers will wait at least a year before returning to an ecommerce site. That means you could get your stuff together before next holiday season, but it doesn’t help you much for this one. What about the rest of the shoppers that hated your site? Apparently 30% will never give you another chance. Even worse, 43% will run straight to your competitors. You better hope they haven’t optimized their mobile sites either.

What Can I Do?

The biggest complaint regarding mobile sites, 51% of mobile shoppers to be exact, is that they’re too hard to navigate. Many still haven’t incorporated responsive design, and those who have may have deviated so much from the original design that buyers don’t know how to find products. To better the experience for anyone visiting your site with the intention to buy, consider these components when optimizing for mobile.


Of these mobile shoppers, 46% say images are too small to make a purchasing decision. When buyers can’t see what they’re purchasing, they’ll either wait until they get home (and probably forget to finish the sale) or find a site with better images. Make sure your product images are optimized for mobile use by filling the screen rather than using thumbnails.

responsive design large images


If customers can’t see the links or, worse, can’t click because the links are too small, they’ll bounce quickly. No one wants to waste time on hitting the back button when they could be buying holiday gifts. In addition to larger fonts, include white space around links to give room for fingers to click exactly what they need to click.

responsive design large links

Security Badges

As with any online shopping, buyers are wary of sharing financial and personal information on smartphones. Be sure your security certifications are up to date and badges are shown prominently. This may mean increasing the sizes so they can be seen easily on every screen, from the homepage to the checkout page.

responsive design security badges

One-Click Checkout

When buyers have to type on their phones in order to make a purchase, they’re likely to put off buying until they can find a full keyboard. Those sites that integrate one-click purchasing options for signed-in members see larger sales. Those that don’t frustrate 26% of the mobile shoppers out there.

responsive design one-click ordering

Through Social Media

Those ecommerce sites that allow signing in through social media have taken yet another frustrating step out of the process. Buyers love the ability to sign in with one click because they don't need to type in tiny form fields on the smartphone or tablet. 

responsive design social login

Optimize for Searches

Once your main mobile site is ready, you’ll need to consider how people find you. A successful PPC campaign is one way to boost sales during the holidays, but what happens if those clicks don’t lead to landing pages that have responsive design? Even the new pages added just for the holiday season should be easy to view on mobile sites.

responsive design ppc search and landing page

Social Sharing

Don't forget to include social sharing buttons, too. When designing for mobile, may companies may forget this important part of the buying and checkout process. Customers who often share their online shopping experiences with friends will miss the opportunity to do so when buying from mobile devices. Maybe they won't leave to shop elsewhere, but they also won't get to tell everyone about their awesome purchase.

responsive design social sharing buttons

Make responsive design for mobile sites your biggest gift to your ecommerce site this year. You’ve only got a couple weeks before the biggest shopping days of the year, so get started right away.

What other features make responsive design easier for online shoppers? We’d love to hear what you like when shopping on your mobile devices, so let us know in the comments.

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Originally published Nov 15, 2013 10:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023


Mobile Marketing Ecommerce