Introduction to article
The websites that are ready to support and engage customers on mobile just as well, if not better, as on desktop will move far past their competition in the coming months. Customers already have growing expectations for mobile site performance as most of their online activities now happen on fast, functional apps. Mobile sites need to be just as engaging as the apps users are accustomed to.
Here are a few ways you can make your mobile site more engaging:
Use intuitive navigation:
One of the biggest mistakes mobile sites make in terms of functionality and keeping users easily moving through their site is the navigation. Navigation that is made “responsive” should fit the screen in an intuitive way and not be difficult to find, should not require zooming in, and should be easy to physically click through. User expectations around navigation and filtering or searching have been shaped by mobile apps. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow suit of mobile app navigation. Some examples are sidebar navigation that opens up and takes up most of the screen or hamburger navigation that opens a full screen overlay as well. Navigations that require filtering should use multiple screens as users click through to avoid overcrowding.
Integrate app-like features:
Building on the point above, users are accustomed to certain functionality from apps. To keep engagement high on your site, you should follow suit with apps for certain functions. For example, if you want to show multiple images or a gallery, having the images in a “slider” format like on an Instagram feed is best because users are used to it and it’s easy to slide through using one finger on a mobile device. Other examples include using icons for buttons, geolocation features, push notifications, etc.
One great way to add an “app-like” experience to your mobile site is to include a newsfeed on any page of your mobile site using Beamer. Beamer is a changelog and newsfeed that opens up on your mobile site when users click “What’s New” or an icon. Beamer opens as a full screen overlay where users can scroll through updates on new content, new products, deals, new features, etc. You can add photos and videos to make your feed highly engaging and CTAs to keep users clicking through your site. With Beamer, you can also enable push notifications so your mobile site literally behaves like an app and you can bring users back to your site every time you post a new update. It’s a great way to make your mobile site more interesting on any page and keep users moving through your site.
Users do so much more than just browse on social media these days. For many, social media is a place to discover more about companies, more about products, discover new products, and do research. 76% of consumers now buy products they discover on Social Media. The rise of influencers and companies using social media more and more for ads and to communicate with customers has made the connection between mobile sites and social media really important. Incorporating social media can help boost engagement on your mobile site. For eCommerce companies, adding social media photos and sharing options to your product pages mimics to product discovery process on social media and allows customers to engage on both your site and your social pages. Embedding videos, images, and feeds from social media are a great way to show you are active there as well as show that others are engaging with you. It’s qualification for customers. The more you can really bridge the gap, the better. A lot of users use social media for communication and are willing to share images, your products, content, etc. when you make it easy to do so.
It will be interesting to see how quickly and what activities we shift to mobile sites this year. The trend has been exponentially growing over the last few years and as mobile app experiences have listened to users and dramatically improved, user expectations have continued to rise. The companies who provide mobile sites that keep up in terms of performance and experience will be able to engage users and beat out the competition much more easily in this new shift. It’s an opportunity to excel for those who are willing to improve and deliver an engaging mobile site now.