This is the story of a man. A man looking for something. A man on an epic journey through the interwebs. A man named Gordon.
It’s late. The wind is whistling through the trees, and the rain is lashing at the windowpane. Bleary eyed, a man sits in bed, his face aglow with the pale light of his Smartphone. The fear creeps in; the fear that he just won’t look cool enough on Saturday to win Jenny’s heart.
His fingers lightly caress the screen, searching for it. ‘The’ shirt. The shirt that will win her heart.
Gazing at the screen, he sees it. The ad copy is tantalising, engaging. Aching for him to click it. Right then he knows, oh, he knows for sure, that at the end of this journey, the perfect shirt will be his. (And all for a mere £15.00). Without a moment’s hesitation, he clicks the ad…and waits.
And waits. And waits. And waits. And Gordon’s journey to happiness begins to unravel, like a poorly made jumper.
The page loads after what feels like a thousand years. The page, cluttered with images of jeans and shoes and jumpers and shirts and underpants and miniscule text greets him. He shields his eyes from the horror – but knows that shirt is here somewhere… he just needs to seek it out. There is no search feature, but he takes a deep breath, and soldiers on.
And then he spots it. The filter. Surely, this is to be his saviour? Pinch and zoom. Pinch, and zoom. Shirts. Blue. Size XL. He waits.
And there it is. That shirt. It’s every bit as beautiful as the ad copy prophesised. He pulls the phone close to his face for a closer look (because there is no image zoom functionality). Doubt begins to cloud his mind. Is the shirt going to be good enough? Will Jenny gasp audibly as he enters the room, and place a hand to her beautiful (albeit simian) brow as she swoons? He has three days before his date. Perhaps, if it isn’t right, he can return it. The delivery and returns policy, nestled at the bottom of the page will surely have the answers?
It opens in a frame. The frame darts about the screen, dancing away from his gigantic thumbs, cruelly taunting him. Crushed, he hits the back button, only for his dreams to be shattered once more, as he is transported back to the page he started on. Sobbing, Gordon closes the browser, and gently places his phone on the bedside table. The dream is over. Jenny will never be his.
So, how could this story have played out differently? Gordon’s crying, and this advertiser should feel jolly bad about that. Shame on them.
With mobile usage increasing YoY, it still baffles me that so many sites neglect mobile shoppers. I am a mobile shopping addict, if I want something, I’ll buy it (without procrastinating), and paid ads are a great way of capturing impulse buyers. But if I hit a site that looks crappy on my mobile, 9 times out of 10, I’m off.
Mobile shoppers are a fickle bunch. So what should you be doing to make sure once they click that wonderful ad of yours that they aren’t a little bit sick in their mouth?
Don’t make them wait
Check your mobile load speeds – Google states that anything under 5 seconds for a page to load is OK, but aim for better to stop them hitting that back button.
Show them what they want
If I’ve searched for something – especially something quite specific, I want to see that bad boy as soon as I click the ad. I don’t have time to be faffing about.
Don’t just send a visitor to your homepage (unless of course it’s super easy for them to get to the product in very few clicks).
And when they get there…
Make sure they can see a call to action. Right in their eyeballs.
Want them to buy it? Do you? Can they actually see ‘Add to Cart’? Do they have to scroll through masses of content? Well, do they?
Too much content…Or not enough content?
Obviously, you want to sell the product on more than images alone. While a stunning image on a foxy model usually gets me to part with my hard earned cash, I still want to know a few details, if it’s 100% cotton (and therefore needs ironing), I want to know that before I commit to buying. And what if it’s dry clean only? And when is it going to be delivered? And what if it doesn’t fit? All these user concerns should be addressed. But don’t waffle on. A condensed version of the copy on your desktop works well, as does making nice, easy to click accordions with all the lovely content hidden safely inside.
Add a Search Function
So they got there, but it’s not quite what they were expecting. It’s cool, it happens. Rather than the visitor immediately leaving, make sure they have the option to carry on the search by making it easy for them with a clearly displayed search function.
We really wanna see those fingers (and thumbs)
Pinching and zooming is a massive pain on a mobile device, and a huge mega menu which can’t be clicked at all is really going to make visitors mad. Make sure you can easily click it with a thumb (and we aren’t talking a little petite and beautiful thumb like mine – I’m talking a giant lump of a Hitcher thumb).
Don’t use Flash or frames or pop ups
Just don’t do it. A Flash splash page or a massive pop up? You better get outta town before I catch you.
Don’t give them a reason to worry
Make sure that links to help and contact details are clearly displayed. If they are fretting about something, give them the option to ask you questions or find out more information. It’s a no brainer.