Ecommerce Tips

Mobile Ecommerce: Embracing Hand-Held Marketplaces

January 5, 2024
January 5, 2024

Mobile Ecommerce: Embracing Hand-Held Marketplaces

TJ Marchesani

It's official. In 2023, more online purchases happened on mobile devices than on a computer. This number has been increasing year-over-year since smart phones were invented, but now we have fully arrived in ‘majority’ territory at an estimated 56%.  

Although many brands may be aware of this trend, they are still behind when it comes to accommodating and optimizing this new customer behavior.

In this article, we’ll outline how ecommerce is quickly becoming a ‘mobile first’ industry, and what that means for your content, design, and listing optimization strategies.

The Shift to Mobile Shopping

People buy things on their phones. Today, that statement feels remarkably obvious. Mobile commerce sales hit $2.2 trillion in 2023. That number was $25 billion just 10 years ago.  

In the last few years, we have gone from mobile ecommerce being a ‘nice-to-have’ luxury to the core way your customers are interacting with your brand.

  • Statistics show that 40% of users will go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience.
  • 80% of shoppers have used a mobile phone inside of a physical store, either to look up product reviews, compare prices, or find alternative store locations.

So, our world must be completely mobile shopping optimized, right? Wrong. Even with glaring evidence that customers are on their phones, many brands haven’t taken this behavior into consideration and their product listings or brand reputations are suffering because of it.

Benefits of Mobile Optimization on Major Marketplace Channels

Beyond the obvious advantages of reaching the more than 1.46 billion active iPhone users or the 3.3 billion Android OS users around the world, there are other benefits to creating a mobile-friendly product page and listing within your marketplace of choice. As an example, let’s look at how mobile optimization can benefit your presence on Amazon.

Search Results Page: If you're familiar with the Amazon search results page then you know it usually has a row of 4 products, but this isn’t the case when it comes to viewing on mobile or within the app. There is only one product, and the buyer must scroll to see more. The benefit of this lies in how well your product has been optimized. If you’ve done a great job, then buyers are more likely to see your product over your competitors. But do optimization wrong and it becomes a challenge trying to increase your BSR (best seller rank).

Mobile-First Algorithms: Amazon’s algorithm works as a search engine. This may come as no surprise since that’s quite literally the basis of how marketplaces work. You search for products; it gives you suggestions. But system algorithms go deeper than that to understand buyer behavior and to choose the best option for the searcher’s needs. This means they prioritize mobile-friendly content due to the higher number of mobile users. Your mobile-friendly listing will show before your competition that has not been optimized.  

Voice Search: With the rise of voice-activated devices (like Alexa), mobile optimization ensures that your product listings are compatible with voice search queries, expanding your reach to users who utilize this technology. Since 58.6% of US consumers have used voice search, this is a large majority audience you don’t want to missing out on.  

Omni-channel Marketing: Mobile optimization goes together with creating an omni-channel experience. Most of the world spends hours on their phones every day, and you need to be where they are. Creating mobile-optimized ads, listings, etc. Makes your products more easily shareable on social media platforms and other apps, creating an effective multichannel marketing strategy that allows you to constantly be in front of buyers while allowing them to practice an evolved form of ‘word-of-mouth'.

Optimizing for the Mobile Buyer

Eric Bullington, Spreetail Senior Manager of Listing Optimization, encourages brands to look at their marketplace presence from an interactive point of view.

“When thinking about optimizing product listings or descriptions within your store, you should have a mobile-first mindset and ensure your listings are optimized when looking at them on mobile devices instead of just looking at your listing on desktop. Mobile also allows for more personalized experiences as apps can push notifications directly to the user to keep the customer engaged on promotions or brand awareness.” - Eric Bullington

How can you build listings for a mobile audience first audience? Here is what we look at:

Images: The first thing buyers lay their eyes on when mobile shopping is the product image, and first impressions are important in the age of fast scrolling. Your goal should be clarity. The buyer should identify your product as a potential match for what they are browsing for within an instant. To do this, work to ensure that all images highlight key features and workings of the product, especially since the buyer’s screen size and interactions can be limited due to screen and the service speed where they are browsing from.

Titles: Although titles on desktop can be long (120-200 characters), the mobile version only features a fraction of that (75-80 characters). This doesn’t mean that you have to write short titles, but it does mean you need to showcase the most important aspects of your product first and usually within that 75-character range. These aspects can include compelling features, selling propositions, and keywords.

Descriptions: Contrary to the desktop layout, product descriptions are usually shown first when viewing a product on mobile, making them much more important and impactful. Unfortunately, you also have a smaller character count to work with (200 characters) meaning this section needs to focus on the benefits of your product and include a call to action to get the customer interested in learning more.

A+ Content: If you have brand registry through Amazon then you know A+ content and its goal of adding features and visuals to help stand out against competitors and improve conversion rates. But, on mobile, this help is virtually non-existent. There is however a partner feature that you can take advantage of to get the best of both worlds. Store Builder allows you to create a mobile version of your online store to showcase products in action and optimize for all devices.

Mobile-first ecommerce is here and is showing no signs of slowing down. Brands who proactively optimize their strategies for mobile ecommerce will stand out, connect better with their audience, and ultimately drive success in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace. This is why Spreetail’s content operations team exists. We work to ensure that what you feature within marketplaces meets the requirements necessary to grab the audience's attention and make the conversion no matter what device or technology they might be using.

TJ Marchesani

B2B Creative Marketing Manager

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