Mobile usage across the world has skyrocketed recently fuelled by cheaper devices and faster mobile-network data speeds. This means that more and more people are using devices other than desktop computers to browse the internet.
What this means for your Shopify store is that an increasing number of potential customers are coming to your store intending to make purchases using their mobile devices.
Why mobile-friendly is important?
According to a Cisco report, mobile traffic grew 69% and mobile network speeds grew 20% in 2014. Their projection is that mobile-based-traffic will increase tenfold over the next four years.
This means that more traffic to Shopify stores will be driven by mobile devices in the future.
More than 50% of all eCommerce traffic on Shopify is from mobile devices.
Shopify comes with a number of mobile-friendly features than can be further enhanced with responsive themes, mobile-friendly checkouts, and mobile stores.
You can also use Google’s mobile friendly tool to check if your shop is already mobile-friendly.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design means that the same website adjusts to different screen sizes. Instead of having a separate mobile version of the site, a website’s elements will move, shrink and adjust to optimize for user experience based on the screen size.
Typically, this means that fonts change in size, images and videos shrink, and multiple columns stack vertically to create a smooth browsing experience. These sites usually don’t have any horizontal scroll.
Here’s a short video from Uberflip explaining responsive web design:
To see responsive design in action, as an example, open our Apps page from different devices. Or, if you’re on a desktop, simply drag the edge of your browser window and make it smaller. As your browser window gets smaller, you’ll see the different elements on the page adjusting accordingly.
Make a mobile-friendly Shopify store
There are a number of ways you can make your Shopify store mobile-friendly. This will improve the experience your store visitors have if they browse from different devices.
If you don’t have too many products or customizations to your store yet, start by using a responsive theme. These themes are made to be mobile-friendly right out of the box. Different elements and areas within these themes adjust to the browser-screen size automatically. This creates a seamless and consistent shopping experience for your visitors across all their devices.
Some responsive themes are available for free. So there can be no cost to making your store mobile-friendly.
It is okay if you’re not ready to switch to an entirely different responsive theme. You can still make the checkout experience mobile-friendly by enabling Responsive Checkout on your Shopify store. This creates a responsive experience for the checkout process on stores no matter what theme you’re using.
This option is enabled automatically for newer stores. If your store’s checkout is not responsive yet, you can preview and enable Responsive Checkout in the admin dashboard.
But don’t stop there. Use our Happy Checkout app to enhance this responsive checkout experience. The Happy Checkout app allows you to customize and personalize the standard Shopify thank you page. You can link people to your social accounts like Twitter or Facebook, embed videos, include a personalized message, and more.
If you already have Responsive Checkout, you can get started by installing the Happy Checkout app and selecting ‘Responsive checkout’ in the settings. Take a look at a sample checkout that has responsive enabled. (Don’t forget to change your browser size if you’re viewing from a computer!)
You can also use external platforms like ShopPad that connect to your Shopify store to create a mobile version of your store. ShopPad connects to your store through the ShopPad app, and pulls data about your store and products to produce a ShopPad-hosted mobile site.
Note that this may not always be compatible with other Shopify apps you are using on your store, and you’ll want to inquire about SEO benefits, as the mobile version of your store is hosted by ShopPad, not your domain. Google gives an SEO boost to mobile-friendly sites, so using a Responsive theme may be a better approach.
Traffic from mobile devices has grown exponentially around the world. As mobile data speeds improve, and mobile devices become faster and cheaper, mobile traffic is only going to increase in the future. For Shopify, traffic from mobile devices surpassed traffic from computers in 2014.
There are a number of ways you can make your store mobile-friendly on Shopify. These include using a responsive theme, using apps like ShopPad, and enhancing a responsive checkout using apps like Happy Checkout.
Using a new responsive-theme and making your whole store mobile-friendly can seem daunting, especially if you have a lot of products and have customized your design extensively. But don’t let that stop you from taking smaller first steps.
You can start by enabling responsive checkout on your store, and enhancing the experience using our Happy Checkout app.
Have you embraced mobile-friendly Shopify yet? If not, tell us why in the comments.
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