Our good friends at Demac Media have produced another fantastic quarterly report on eCommerce trends and what they found shows that how we buy online is changing rapidly. For a while now it’s been understood that generally about half of traffic will come via mobile device but that almost all purchases are being made on desktop. Well that’s changing in a big way. According to the report, mobile conversions have jumped 5% in just 8 months, to 25%. That’s a huge increase and it keeps going up. Some theories range from people doing more on bigger screens to not spending as much time on desktops (i.e. not even buying them anymore). Regardless, it seems as though mobile traffic is finally converting, so how do you take advantage?

Mobile-First Approach

I know, I know, this isn’t shocking by any means, but I’m not just talking about responsive design. A responsive design is usually a desktop design made to render correctly on mobile but it’s always so much better on desktop and easier to navigate. That’s because mobile design is an afterthought, but you can design a version of your store made specifically for mobile. Let’s call this the ‘mobile-first’ approach.

In this store your goal is to allow users to find what they’re looking for without too much scrolling. What you can fit in above the fold is gold. Strip down javascript effects and compress images to reduce load time. Simplicity is key.

For Piper, we created an online Shopify store which was responsive but mobile conversions weren’t amazing. We then decided to make a version of the store that was only for mobile users here’s what you see above the fold:


Piper Store

store.getpiper.com responsive mobile site


mobile-first design

As you can see, the ‘mobile-first’ design is a lot easier to navigate with the menu always displayed and the products being much smaller. It looks a lot more like an app than a website and eliminates to need for scrolling. Immediately, this version of the store had 10X the conversion rate amongst mobile users vs the normal store.

It’s easily implemented by redirecting users based on device type (mobile users to the ‘mobile-first’ site and desktop users to the normal store). Big stores, such as Amazon, have also taken this to the next level with apps that feature this enhanced mobile user experience and enable the user to stay logged in to their secure account. 

Simplify Checkout

It’s happened far too many times where you’re ready to checkout and there are forms with 400 hundred fields to fill out. At that point, you reevaluate your entire life and abandon the purchase.


Pictured: The result of not purchasing that grumpy cat coaster you really wanted. 

On all the stores we’ve managed checkout forms kill conversions, that goes for desktop as well but mobile is So. Much. Worse.

Who can blame people? It’s tough typing everything on a tiny screen and with auto-correct screwing things up. Well there are a few things to make this easier. First, you can enable auto-fill on all your forms (if it’s not a security risk) and reduce the amount of fields all the while showing customers where they are in the checkout process so that they know there’s an end in sight.

Second, you should enable quick pay options such as Paypal, Amazon Payments and Apple Pay.

Third, you should allow users to create accounts so they aren’t required to enter their information for every purchase.

It’s about the little things, making sure that you have the least amount of barriers between your customer and checkout. “Patience is a virtue” … that most mobile consummers do not have.


Check out the full report here: demac-media-q3-2016-benchmark-report