When people switch to mobile, there is a trend to go towards a tile style look.
While this might look good in the mockups, in practice, it is pretty frustrating for the user. They land on the home page and the navigation is buried under a menu bar (which is often hard to find) and the only thing they are presented with is sale items or just pure randomness.
In most cases, these items are not what the user is looking for on a very large ecommerce website. In this situation, this was the case. BTO Sports had launched a new mobile site that looked great in design, but didn’t lend itself well to conversions.
After our work, we increased conversion rates for the home page by 86% leading to a jump of 162% in mobile home page driven revenue. The overall mobile revenue had big gains too.
The Original Style Home Page
Here you see an example of this tile concept that a lot of mobile sites are embracing. We have seen this on client sites, competitor sites, etc. In this particular case, the client had previously had a site with simple mobile navigation.
When they changed to the new layout, conversion rates dropped. The new layout was something like the 2 column option below.
Of course, whenever conversion rates drop so do sales. We always want to make sure we are squeezing all the revenue we can out of our SEO traffic (and all other forms of traffic as well). Because of this, we decide to run a test.
In the test, we recommended a very simple home page with easy to use buttons that pushed the user into the main segments of the website. We took the time to determine the most popular navigation paths and represent those paths on the home page. We determine the paths by looking at the in-page analytics report and behavior flow report in Google Analytics.
In addition, we pushed all the brand and sale focused tile material to the bottom of the page. This allowed the user to still browse this information, but they were presented with the navigation path first.
We ran the test for 3 weeks to make sure we had enough data. The result, the new mobile home page did an additional $50,000 in sales, had more transactions and a higher conversion rate. It was clear, people were coming to the home page and wanted any easy want to navigate the site. They were having a hard time finding the menu and benefited from the quick and easy to access buttons.
The Launch of the New Home Page
We launched the new home page. The next week when looking at exact week over week traffic, organic conversion rate mobile was up 86.66% and revenue up 162.84% (bounce rate also went down over 780%).
We also saw the same trends for other forms of traffic.
The conversion rate for the mobile home page, for traffic for the entire site, had jumped 44%. Mobile accounts for 43% of their traffic, so this was a big win for the client. This small tweak which required little in actual dollar investment resulted in a big on-going revenue kick. Revenue for all mobile traffic, when taking into account the entire website, jumped 20%. By knowing the right recommendation, at the right time, we had helped this client a great deal with CRO.
Why it is so Important
Every website is different. For an ecommerce site that only sells a few products, having this type of home page navigation might not be as necessary. But for a large site with hundreds of thousands of items, this is a really big deal. Users need to be able to find what they are looking for. With simple to use buttons, front and center on the home page, users can do just that.
Things to Keep in Mind
When you are designing a mobile home page, here are some things to think about.
What type of purchaser are you dealing with? Is it the type of person who wants to get in and out quickly, or do they want to browse? Do they need in-depth information before the purchase or is time a bigger issue for them? Generally, in the case of a company like ours, users are doing a lot of research. But if a user just wants a quick buy, better to make that accessible.
Keep it simple. One of the most important things you can do is keep your mobile home page extremely simple. Do not try to jam a bunch of unnecessary information into it. Users really don’t like clutter on there phones.
Propensity to scroll. Unlike desktop, users are more likely to scroll down the page on their phone by using just a flick of their thumb. Keep that mind, you can always place items lower on the page.
Make sure you have a menu. You need a menu in the upper corner (generally left) and it needs to be easy to see. I like to put an outline around it or highlight it in some way. While the 25 year old student might know mobile navigation, an older person might have a hard time finding something like this on their phone.
Page speed. Make sure your site is fast on mobile. Not only is it one of the most important mobile ranking factors for SEO, it is also critical to usability.
There is so much more…
Summing it Up
We are very happy to be able to deliver for this client. CRO is so important for online marketing. This is one of many wins we have had and we look forward to many more.