How to adapt to the rise of m-commerce

M as in marvelous, but above all, M as in mobile.

Adapt your online shop to mobile commerce with TPOP, the eco-friendly Print on Demand service.

Picture this: you're watching a series that turns out to be not up to your expectations. As you sink into total boredom, you finally pull out your smartphone. Ten minutes later, you've ordered a toaster, a genuine glittery sombrero and a snow globe. You have 67 euros less in your bank account, but at least you are entertained.

This scenario, very unlikely a few years ago, turns out to be more and more feasible nowadays; indeed, the act of shopping online was not so long ago something that had to be at least a little organized since it required the use of a computer. For some time now, what we call m-commerce (the letter M referring to the term mobile) has been a simply devastating success. Unpractical just 5 years ago, it is gradually becoming the norm: according to the website Simicart, mobile sales are expected to reach 53.9% of total e-commerce sales worldwide by the end of 2021, with an increase in sales from mobile commerce of more than 22% compared to 2020.

In our opinion, these figures represent a very, very good reason to adapt your e-commerce site to mobile devices. However, several questions must be asked before embarking on the adventure...

Do I have to adapt my shop for mobile commerce?

Let's first establish a fact: mobile commerce is not a habit for everyone. According to Simicart, the majority of m-shoppers are in the 18-34 age group. The ComK site, for its part, has highlighted through a study conducted among French seniors that 67% of them are slowed down by the size of the mobile screen to do their shopping. On the other hand, 46% believe that m-commerce could compromise the security or privacy of their data. All these reasons explain their absence on the mobile versions of online stores.

Thus, as always in e-commerce, it will be relevant to ask yourself if your choice will be appropriate to your target audience: if it is rather young, if it is globally very present on the networks and mainly on Instagram, the current stronghold of social shopping, go for it! It's time to position yourself in the fabulous world of m-shopping. If it's not the case, if your target audience is older people (from 35 years old), the prospect will probably be less interesting for your business.

What are the benefits of m-commerce?

  • Shopping in three clicks: M-commerce is the perfect answer to our constant need for ease and speed (just like our print on demand platform, by the way). The ergonomics of mobile stores can even allow a purchase in 5 minutes, during a coffee break or while waiting for a date at the restaurant. Moreover, if your store is linked directly to your Instagram or Facebook profiles, the time between the consumer's conquest of your product and the final order is considerably reduced and the customer's trust in your brand is strengthened, thanks to the centralization of your brand image, consumer reviews and shopping possibilities in one place.

  • Impulse commerce: Our mobiles follow us everywhere, all the time. Imagine what will happen if they become our primary means of shopping? That's exactly what's happening: we are increasingly able to order and respond to any buying impulse, at any time. Obviously, this is great news for online stores. According to a study conducted by Visiplus Academy, among the French people questioned about their m-commerce habits, 18% claimed to do their shopping on their cell phone in public transport, 14% in their workplace and 15% in their car (when stopped, of course: m-commerce is nice, but legal is better). These are three situations that were almost unimaginable a short time ago, three situations that have very quickly become part of our routines.

  • A privileged store/shopper relationship: The possibility to sell more, anytime, is logically rather tempting, right? That's why many brands take advantage of their mobile platform to offer a maximum of promotions, in the form of discounts and promo codes. By communicating in a more efficient way and maintaining a special relationship with their users, brands increase their turnover and approach their mobile business presence as a kind of high-performance loyalty program.

How do I know if my store is mobile friendly?

You are just starting to get acquainted with the m-commerce world, it is entirely normal that you don't know on which criteria to base yourself to know if your store is suitable for mobile use or not. Fortunately, there are tools to help you, including the mobile optimization test designed by Google.

Test the optimization of your POD online store.
Source: Google

The principle is simple but terribly effective: in just a few seconds and for free, this tool is able to analyze the URL of your website and give it a mobile optimization score. By clicking on the link "Open the mobile usability report for the whole site", you will also be able to access a detailed description of the features, contents and other plug-ins that are not compatible, so you will know what your users lose when shopping on your mobile store and if it is necessary for you to intervene.

Test of adaptability of its store for use on smartphones.
Source: Google

Which responsive theme to choose?

Your store may be considered unsuitable for mobile use for various reasons: visuals that invade the entire screen of your users and make navigation inconvenient, a large number of useful features lost when switching to mobile, a slow loading of your store demoralizing, ... Rather than designing a site dedicated entirely to mobile use, which would force you to manage not one but two different stores (I'm exhausted just thinking about it), the smartest and most efficient thing would be to choose a theme that is flexible to all supports for your Shopify or Woocommerce store. The team has put together a list of the best in the business, because you are worth it.

Flexible themes for Shopify

Minimal - Free

Choosing a responsive theme for your online shop.

As its name suggests, Minimal is a simple and clean theme. It still has a very trendy potential, although its initial version is not very design (so it's better to have some knowledge in code if you want to customize its appearance). Minimal is not an overly ambitious theme, it just covers the basics and focuses mainly on the product catalog. Some interesting features will still be available to you (product recommendation to your customers, for example). Beware, however: you'd better pass if you want to offer a wide range of products, otherwise the loading time of your store will become discouraging for your customers. We are nevertheless delighted to present you with such a high quality theme, to be acquired for the modest sum of nothing at all (and yes, you read that right, it is free).

Simple - Free

Choose a flexible theme to adapt to m-commerce.

Definitely another theme that lives up to its name: Simple is a clean and minimalist looking theme, without any pretension. Easy to use for beginners, it adapts perfectly to mobile devices (although its "Hamburger" menu, a list of drop-down categories, can take up some space on the screen, the theme remains quite manageable). Its greatest quality? Its super-short loading time, perfect to put all its chances on its side and optimize its conversion rate. Despite its simplicity, the theme still offers interesting features such as the display of consumer reviews or the animation of visuals. Oh, and guess what... It's also completely free.

Startup - $180

The right Shopify themes for your mobile shop.

The Startup theme is overflowing with style: its full width visuals give it a strong design aspect without even taking away from its usability or ergonomics. Very flexible, full of qualities and multiple possibilities available on computer as well as on mobile support (video on the homepage, customer reviews, custom modules, sharing on social networks,...), it should be noted however that this theme will be more adapted to stores with small catalogs. This beautiful skin will be yours for the sum of $180 (about 150 €).

Blockshop - $180

Downloadable skin for your POD shop.

Do you want to impress your customers? To tell them your story, your values, to make them travel? Blockshop will be the perfect partner for brands in search of story-telling: thanks to great visuals and an original and ergonomic user interface, this theme will bring to your store a great breath of modernity and luxury, all for the sum of $180 (about 150 €). Fast for all kinds of catalogs, from the smallest to the largest, this theme will also bring a myriad of high value-added features, such as the ability for the customer to view the product sheet without leaving the catalog, quick purchase, promotional pop-ups or the publication of size guides.

Responsive themes on Woocommerce

Storefront - Free

Flexible Woocommerce theme for mobile use.

Designed from scratch by Wordpress, Storefront is THE reference for responsive Woocommerce theme (i.e. adapting to all screen sizes). Its homepage is designed for e-commerce, since it provides all the categories useful for your customers, from new arrivals to products on sale. Very minimalist, it will be preferable to have some knowledge in development to customize this skin. However, Wordpress does not forget the beginners and offers pre-designed skins directly derived from Storefront, such as the pretty Galleria, available for $39 (about €32) per year.

Skinny - $69/year

Skinny, a Woocommerce theme adapted to m-commerce.

The contemporary and elegant design of the Skinny theme makes it an advantageous option for optimizing cross-support access to your store. This theme has a beneficial point that is rare enough to be highlighted: it offers its visitors the possibility to choose between light and dark modes; knowing that, according to Visiplus' study, a large part of online shopping is done after 7pm, this small possibility can potentially be a big plus in the eyes of your customers. A blog section is also included in the price of $69 per year (approx. €58): perfect for deepening your brand image and story-telling.

Some tips to prepare my shop for m-commerce?

Beyond the choice of a flexible theme, several precautions should be taken to optimize your store and to make it ready for the rise of m-commerce. And yes: as is often the case in life, it's not only appearance that counts, but also...

The content

As much as the form, the content matters a lot when designing a flexible online store. For the simple reason that the shopping experience should naturally be more efficient and faster via mobile, there is no need to overwhelm your customers with long descriptions and endless paragraphs. Moreover, the size of the screens of tablets and cell phones being obviously reduced compared to computers, you will have to be careful not to occupy the whole size of a screen with text, which would be potentially uninviting for a customer. So, think about putting clear and concise excerpts online on your store, write the most important terms and keywords of your speech in bold and provide a font size and a contrasting enough color to make reading as easy and fluid as possible.

Have you ever experienced that awkward situation where, while visiting a website on your smartphone in a public place, you are suddenly assaulted by an impromptu video or music, thus attracting the mocking/curious/inquisitive looks of the gathering? Don't be the cause of such discomfort: we can assure you that these unpleasant surprises are a valid reason for your visitors to turn their backs on you. So consider avoiding auto-starting music and videos.

The structure

In order to simplify the shopping sessions of your customers, the good structuring of your store and especially of your catalog will be essential. The goal is to design an intuitive path for your customers, where they can find their way around and get the information or products they want in a minimum of clicks. You are a beginner and don't know where to start? Don't panic, we've all been there; don't hesitate to visit your competitors' stores to learn about what is usually done in terms of tree structure and categories within your niche.

In order to minimize the number of clicks of your customer, another solution is at your fingertips: that ofincorporating CTAs within the website. We explain: the CTA (or Call-To-Actionare clickable buttons that encourage your customer to perform a specific action formulated as an instruction or a directive. The famous "I'm signing up" or "Buy now" are, for example, Call-To-Action buttons. In addition to soliciting your customers, these buttons fulfill an interesting role for m-commerce since they have the potential to make access to certain pages more direct.

One last piece of advice: although sometimes useful and striking, pop-up windows should be avoided if you want to optimize your visitors' experience on mobile devices. They may find it frustrating to have their screen taken up by a window whose exit button they will have trouble finding because of its small size.

Our consumer habits are evolving so fast that it sometimes seems complicated to stay up to date as an e-merchant. Far from being an ephemeral trend, m-commerce seems to be settling down to stay, and this at an impressive speed: this is the interest to take the measures to adapt to it as soon as possible, before some of your competitors have even started to think about it.

To summarize, in order to optimize the experience of your visitors on the mobile version of your store, the important thing is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience: where would their intuition tell them to go to find the products and information they need? What notions would they find necessary? Mix this desire to rely on your customers' logic with the desire to be yourself and you have the perfect recipe for a flexible and efficient store.