In 2023, the mobile browsing experience will be more important than ever. Consumers are increasingly driven by the instant access to information and experiences enabled by their mobile phone. As mobile browsing gains popularity, customers also enjoy the instant gratification, and convenience, of shopping on-the-go. Research from the Salesforce Shopping Insights revealed that nearly eight out of 10 (78%) people made a purchase via mobile during the Christmas sales period in 2022.

It is imperative that businesses optimise, or develop, websites that are mobile-responsive in order to provide a positive customer experience and ensure customers stay on the site throughout their buying journey and return. This is especially pertinent for online or hybrid retailers who rely on a website for sales conversions. For retailers without an online store, even a poor website layout can leave a negative impression and deter people from visiting the physical store.

Here are three ways retailers can ensure their website is mobile-ready.

Tip 1: Optimise your website layout for mobile viewing

The best website layout for mobile browsing is one that is easy to read and navigate. Overly cluttered landing pages and text that is too small can cause visitors to become frustrated, confused or leave the site.

We are already seeing a demand for tools to enhance the mobile viewing experience. The newly released WordPress 6.1 introduced ‘fluid typography’, a feature allowing text to resize based on the display, without the need for coding. However, this is only one piece of the puzzle. Images should also be optimised to scale to different display sizes and resolutions. Selecting a mobile-responsive WordPress theme can simplify this process, as content will automatically adapt to different devices without complex coding.

When launching a site, retailers should ensure their website layout is optimised for different screens. Many website builders now have device preview features, allowing businesses to mimic the display size of different devices on a desktop.

Tip 2: Consistently check that your website is up to speed

The demand for speed will continue to grow and should form part of a robust SEO strategy in 2023. A fast website not only improves the customer experience, but also the search engine ranking on Google. To win sales and conversions, retailers need to deliver faster load times than their competitors.

While the optimal load time for an e-commerce website is less than 2 seconds, the average load time on mobile devices is 3.47 seconds, based on global research by WP Engine. The same piece of research showed that, this could result in a 40% loss in potential revenue, as frustrated customers turned away from the website.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), is one solution which enables fast load times and mobile-optimised webpages by simplifying the website layout. Optimising the website layout, will also reduce the load time, as images are resized and compressed based on the display.

Improving website performance is an ongoing process. For all websites that are optimised for speed, 40% regress after six months due to new updates and changes to the website, based on an internal study by Google. It’s helpful to work with a website management agency that can do the heavy lifting and ensure that website performance and speed are optimised consistently. Just like your car, regular maintenance is crucial to a worry-free journey.

Tip 3: Secure your website by keeping it updated

A rise in mobile shopping goes hand in hand with a need for greater cyber security awareness. Following a wave of cyberattacks on some of Australia’s largest and most well-known businesses, consumers are more cautious about who they share confidential information with. If a website does not convey the highest level of security, (e.g. have an SSL certificate installed), or even worse, initiates a security alert on the user’s phone, customers may hold back from a purchase.

The most common security pitfall is having outdated plug-ins, which leave open doors for vulnerabilities to be exploited. However, retailers can easily minimise security risks by making sure WordPress, website themes and plug-ins are updated regularly. Outsourcing website management to an agency can help alleviate pressures on businesses while ensuring the best security measures are implemented to provide a secure shopping experience.

As mobile shopping continues to grow, businesses need to stay ahead by optimising their website for the best user experience on mobile. By implementing a mobile-responsive layout, fast loading times and a secure checkout experience, retailers will be well-equipped to ride the e-commerce wave in 2023.

Ricky Blacker is WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine.