Have you lately taken a look at the current internet trends and the predictions for the near future? Well they are quite astonishing, at least for me. Analysts tells us that the traffic numbers will become virtually the same for both desktop and mobile platforms by as soon as 2014. And by the very next year that is 2015, mobile traffic will surpass the desktop one.

What does this has to do with you as a designer or programmer or a webmaster. Well if you are still putting all your efforts in learning the techniques and strategies for just the desktop platforms then my friends soon you will find yourself lagging far behind the competition. If you are a webmaster then understand this, you will be losing a lot of potential customers if you just stick to your desktop website and hope that it will earn you money on mobiles as well.

Why I am saying this? Well I am no expert really in understanding the trends, but the guys at Google are. They say that 58 percent of the mobile users expect the websites to open on their mobiles as fast as they do on desktops and even faster. You can’t achieve this by making an image heavy desktop e-commerce website, so as a result these users will lose interest and leave your website. Another important stat is that 51 percent of the overall users are more likely to buy from the retailers that have a mobile specific website.

So now that we agree that it is important to have a mobile version of your website, let us look at some of the laws that have been published by Google experts regarding making a successful e-commerce website.

Simplicity is the Key

If you have read my previous articles then you must be sick and tired of this phrase. Yes I love simplicity but this time it’s not just me but it’s the Google experts who have made this the first law for making a profitable mobile e-commerce site. What the users hate about mobile e-commerce websites the most is the fact that they bombard them with too much information and images. Remember that the users have only a small screen and most of them hate scrolling down, also they won’t appreciate the text and images that make them squint their eyes to see.

But the problem is that the e-commerce websites need to have a large set of images. There are a few ways to solve such a problem, one of the most proficient among them being the placement of a search bar right on top of the page.  It will provide your users with an option to search for their desired product instead of being inundated by choices.

Design for Mobile not for Desktop

Keep in mind while designing an e-commerce or any other website for the mobile platforms that the user don’t have a mouse to do all the scrolling and clicking for them, instead they will be using their thumb. Nothing irritates a user more than accidently clicking on a link and ending up on a page that he or she never desired to go to.

A technique that is being widely used by the designers to avoid such a situation is the usage of boxes with dropdown menus. They should be wisely placed and still if a user accidently clicks one of them they won’t be sent to another page instead will be provided with different options.

Users are Looking for Speed, Provide it to Them

It’s a common sense thing that most of the users who will be visiting your mobile website will not be resting in their lounges while doing so, instead they  most probably will be in transit, so will not have a lot of time to do the long searching and ordering procedure. Yes there are exceptions to everything and most of the tablet users will be using your website from the comfort of their homes but you will have to design for the majority, right?

So just think about the most important features of your website and the most relevant content and then place them on the main page where the users can easily access them.

Load Time is Important

If your website is slow in loading then rest assure that it won’t convert as much as you expect it to. Slow load time not only reduces the user’s interest in it and they may even leave your website but the faster it loads the better ranking it will get from Google, so it is important.

An easy to use technique is to prioritize the content of your website and then remove anything which you feel your website can function without.

Reduce the Time Required to Check Out

I am saying this for one last time really but mobile websites are actually different than the ones designed for desktop. You will really slim the chances of scoring a sale if you make the check out process cumbersome. Make it easy for the user to choose a product and then pay for it and check out.

Just ask for the data that you feel is absolutely necessary for you to process a sale. Also you don’t really need the user to signup before they can shop, provide them with an option for guest check out.

Place a progress indicator so that your users know how many steps are remaining, this will motivate them to keep on going. Also provide your phone number so that you don’t lose a potential customer in case they have a question.

Do a Lot of Testing

Testing your website is important because no matter how great you think you have designed your website that one element can make it a colossal failure. So try out a few variations and test them so that you know which one of them converts most for you. Hope these rules will help you out in designing a mobile e-commerce website that is profitable for you or your client if you are a designer.