Sasha Butkovich is Senior Writer for Ecommerce Outtakes and a guest blogger for SLI’s Site Search Today.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ll say the obvious: mobile eCommerce is growing like crazy. Mobile and tablet sales continue to increase as a proportion of total online sales, surpassing desktop according to reports. But retailers looking to get in on the mobile action shouldn’t dive in blindly. As I mentioned in my last post on this blog, there are plenty of mistakes to avoid in a mobile strategy. Now, it’s time to take a look at the flip side of the coin and focus on the “dos” instead of the “don’ts.” Here are examples of three mobile sites that offer a great user experience. What do these retailers all have in common? They know their audience. Take a look.

Amazon: Personalization

24Oct_Amazon_screenshot1As the reigning king of eCommerce sites, it should come as no surprise that Amazon has their mobile act together. Of course, Amazon also knows their customers want access to their account wherever they go. Once a shopper is logged in to their Amazon account, the mobile site becomes more personalized, much like the desktop site. Customers will see product recommendations on the homepage that are based on their purchase and browsing histories. On top of that, users can manage their entire account, including wish lists, payment options, and more. All the perks of the desktop site, all the convenience of mobile, none of the mess. It’s a beautiful thing.

If users arrive on the homepage without logging in, they’ll see some of the popular Amazon products featured, like Amazon MP3 and the Kindle line. For a site that sells pretty much everything, it’s important to put that brand recognition front and center. Notice also that the homepage doesn’t waste precious space on a small mobile screen with the lesser-shopped departments. It only features the most popular categories to start people off with what they’re more likely to want.

Folica: Emphasis on Offers & Ratings

24Oct_Folica_Screenshot124Oct_Folica_screenshot2There’s something sleek about the Folica mobile site. The homepage doesn’t bother to feature any particular products, but instead places the focus on the special offers. It’s nice for users to see the promotions up front so they know they will be getting a good deal from this retailer. Mobile users are on the go, and won’t want to waste their time on a site that won’t offer them a good value, so this is a great way to make a happy customer.

Below the special offers banner, shoppers will find many specific categories to help them choose the avenue that will help them get to the items they want. One especially cool category is Top 10. Opening this tab, users will see a whole list of Top 10 categories, like Top 10 Hair Dryers, Top 10 Shampoos, and Top 10 Gifts. This is such a nice way to shop, because it combines product type with highest customer ratings in one simple list. Putting such a high emphasis on customer reviews shows how much this retailer values the shopper. This is especially nice for mobile shoppers because it eliminates the lower-rated items, helping the user get to the good stuff quickly. Customer Service & Geolocation

24_Oct_Gap_Screenshot1Gap is an example of a retailer with both a strong eCommerce presence and strong brick-and-mortar sales. This retailer understands how to connect the two in their mobile site to provide the best experience for their customers. People shopping on their phone might be looking to make that purchase in a store, so the Find In Store option on this site is a perfect addition. Right from a product page, users can select their size and color, then click the Find In Store button. The site uses geo-location to show the closest stores, and displays the availability of the item in each location.

Putting customer service at the forefront is an awesome strategy, too. Free Shipping and Free Returns offers are displayed right on the homepage. When clicked on, the details are shown in a lightbox, eliminating the need for the user to navigate away from this page. Another great element is the easy access to the company’s other brands, as many of Gap’s customers also shop at Banana Republic and Old Navy. On this mobile site, it’s all easily connected by a simple drop-down menu at the top of the homepage.

At the end of the day, offering a great mobile experience is all about considering a site’s specific audience. Knowing who is using the mobile site and what they’re using it for will go a long way to inform the design and navigation. Offering customers any personalization, reviews, special offers, and geo-location they’re looking for will keep them returning to the site for future purchases!

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