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Monday July 20, 2020 |Notes

Optimize mobile UX first to entice eyes & avoid high-bounce rates

Over 50% of all traffic is from mobile devices, and the shirt towards mobile has sharply increased over the last few years. It's more than likely that this trend will continue in the coming years. Mobile devices are the ultimate personal computer. Digital shopping experiences should reflect this by developing for mobile from the start, rather than finding a way to make a desktop site more responsive.

Techcrunch reported on a SimilarWeb report in February this year. If the shift towards mobile has been anything like that of other technology trends since the start of the pandemic, these numbers have grown much faster than expected:

The report found that 2019’s total web traffic to the top 100 sites was up 8% from 2018, and up 11.8% over 2017, averaging 223 billion visits per month. The largest increases were in April and June 2019, when traffic was up by more than 10% over the same time in 2018.

In addition, mobile has become the platform of choice for visiting certain categories of websites. Mobile traffic dwarfs desktop on adult sites, gambling sites, food & drink, pets & animals, health, community & society, sports and lifestyle. And over the years, other categories shifted to become more mobile as well — including news and media, vehicle sites, travel, reference, finance and others.

Most ecommerce sites are still built, developed, and analyzed from a desktop-first perspective. Most design tools, such as the Shopify theme customizer, still default to desktop-first. This is outdated and results in sites where mobile UX is a secondary consideration. Flip this and put mobile first.

Beyond the fact that most web traffic is from mobile, it's much more effective to figure out how to make everything fit well onto a small screen first, then get the added space on desktop. Elements on the page will need to be removed and/or condensed. Extra distractions are removed due to space limitations. With a well-designed mobile site, it's much easier to convert to desktop with the added space.

Essentially every potential visitor has a mobile device. It's often the first point of contact and it's crucial to make a good impression. Improving mobile UX goes a long way towards improving overall conversions and shouldn't be a secondary consideration.

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