Expert Advice on Getting Mobile-Ready for Your Peak Season

close up of hand holding mobile phone


This guest article comes to you from JH, an ecommerce digital agency specializing in bespoke Magento solutions.

At JH, we’ve been recognized by Magento as leading the way in responsive mobile design and development. We’ve won the Magento Imagine Award two years running in this category, and this year, we’ve continued to earn this reputation as the go-to experts in this area, with every site built for clients being fully responsive, as well as our first Mobile Apps going live.Meeting customer expectations on their mobile devices is becoming increasingly important. We believe that no retailer can ignore the power of mobile. The explosion of iPhone, Android, and tablet devices means that businesses have to adopt a “mobile-first” approach to their ecommerce.

Mobile and Peak

According to an IMRG and Capgemini index, UK online retail is expected to grow by 14% this year. In 2016, £133bn was spent online with UK retailers. This was £18bn more than the amount spent online the year before, which meant that the Index registered growth of 16% in 2016. And it’s not just the UK expected to see growth. The National Retail Federation is predicting 8-12% growth in US ecommerce sales this year, which is up to three times higher than the growth rate of the wider industry. What’s more, a significant proportion (£25bn) was spent online in the run up to Christmas last year, specifically between 13th November and 24th December.

With each passing year, the ecommerce industry is witnessing record-breaking sales during the holiday season. For most retailers, it’s the most important and profitable time of year. In fact, some businesses make up to around 40% of their yearly revenue in quarter four because of this. Put simply, you can’t afford not to max out on its potential.


Understanding Mobile

Mobile traffic volume for retailers last year was close to that of desktop (41% vs 50%). However, there was a much bigger difference in sales volume. 69% of sales came via desktop but just 21% from mobile (31% if you include tablet devices). The discrepancy here leads some retailers to wrongly underestimate the value of mobile.

Two things to consider here: firstly, people are using mobile more and more for shopping, and whilst it’s sometimes about browsing and researching over buying, without the research stage being a seamless success, the purchase will happen elsewhere.

Secondly, mobile usability is vastly improving all the time. With more sites than ever now responsive, and a growing number of retailers opting for Mobile Apps, we’d be surprised if this year, those stats haven’t shifted somewhat.

So, what now?


1. Plan

Start your preparations early so that you have enough time to brainstorm new ideas, test them, and prepare your mobile site. Take time to assess your previous year’s sales and analyze the Where, How and Why of your mobile sales. Stats are an easy way to gauge your upcoming sales performance. And remember, always build your plans around your customer personas and what you know about their behaviors and preferences.


2. Prep for Social

Your customers are everywhere in this age of mobile. And they expect you to be too, responding on each channel they use. That’s why it’s crucial to centralize all interactions you have with your customers, making sure of cohesiveness, and especially during the ever-important peak period. Because it’s typically the busiest time, you might have to get extra help for your sales and your customer service teams, because you have to be at least as efficient as during “normal” traffic periods and handle additional website visitors.


3. Show Security

Giving your visitors confidence in the security of your mobile store is crucial to making sales, as some customers still feel uneasy about making transactions on their mobile devices. If they have any doubt in the safety of your site, they will leave to find what they are looking for somewhere else. Boost shopper confidence by making sure your privacy and security seals are updated and shown clearly on your mobile site. Having badges and logos on your store that demonstrate your ability to safely handle transactions and personal information will reduce abandonment.


4. Think PPC

It’s important to ensure you’ve clearly built mobile and tablet campaigns to guarantee you capture mobile searches specifically. This will allow you to have different bidding strategies for your mobile devices and desktop campaigns, and also allow you to easily monitor the volumes of traffic, spend and sales you’re receiving from each. Be prepared to tweak daily. For more information about this, read this article on getting the most out of your Google Analytics.


5. Check your Email

Don’t send out a single email campaign this Peak season without first reading it on several mobile devices. Use mobile email good practice, including:

  • Avoid using too many images, which can take longer to download if not connected to Wifi
  • Keep subject lines short
  • Write compelling pre-header text for the inbox
  • Make buttons and links clear

Are you ready to find out how your business would fare during your busy peak season? Take this quick 5 question quiz now!