Mobile content is critical to online brand and sales success Featured Image

Mobile content is critical to online brand and sales success

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This is the third and final part of a series of blog posts based on our CEO Luigi Matrone’s keynote to the Alcon Gaze eCommerce conference. In the first, we showed why Shopper Experience is a key driver of online success for brands; in the second, we looked at why you can’t have great Shopper Experiences without great content. Here, we demonstrate the critical importance of quality mobile content to brand and sales success. 

eBusiness Institute CEO Luigi Matrone is one of the world’s leading experts on digital transformation, eCommerce, and the digital trends impacting retail. If you would like to see Luigi’s keynote slides, please download them here.

Mobile accounts for the majority of online shopping

There are few things more frustrating for a mobile internet user than websites that haven’t been optimised for mobile.  It’s maddening when you have to pinch the screen to zoom in or blindly scroll around to see an image properly or click on a link because the website you’re looking at on your phone has been designed for desktop.  The same, naturally, follows for people that are trying to shop online using their smartphones and mobile devices.  Say you’re trying to buy suntan lotion on your mobile. You’re going to want to be able to easily see and find out key things about it – like which factor it is, and its volume or quantity. What you don’t want to be doing is struggling to decipher those details on a blurry or pixelated image that’s clearly been designed with desktop users chiefly in mind. Mobile Content Example 1 The majority of people are now using mobile devices like smartphones to make online purchases rather than desktop PCs – Image source: Criteo A good or poor user experience can be the difference between a shopper being influenced to make a purchase (and possibly become a long-term customer) or exiting the site altogether, perhaps never to return. People in India, Mexico and Indonesia are four times more likely to shop online using a mobile than a desktop[1]. Mobile eCommerce sales in Japan are expected to grow to 60.8 billion US dollars by 2020[2], while 78 per cent of people in the UK use their smartphones for shopping while travelling or commuting[3]. So, with the majority of online shopping now being made via mobiles rather than PCs, it is vital to ensure that your eCommerce content is always mobile content. In other words, optimised for mobile use to ensure a great user experience that could and should lead to more sales.  

Your content has to be mobile content first and foremost

The pendulum has swung, irreversibly, in favour of the majority of people preferring to do their online shopping on mobile devices rather than PCs. In the US, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months, and almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone. With this being the case, any business operating in eCommerce that isn’t already taking a ‘mobile-first’ approach to their content needs to remedy that straightaway, or else seriously risk losing online. Mobile Content Example 2 Mobile users need to see exactly which product they’re looking at when researching online – Image source: Nescafe Just think about it: if you’ve begun your content creation process with a desktop-first approach, the product images you use are going to be out of kilter on mobile devices. They will not, therefore, give mobile users the smooth and hassle-free online shopping experience they expect and demand Mobile internet users – and that’s now the great majority of us – need to be easily able to see what we’re looking at when we’re researching products to buy online. If you can’t properly or easily see the following – brand, format, variant and quantity – then you’re going to be disinclined to buy a product for fear of ending up with something you didn’t actually want to order (like a pack of 150ml cans of Coca-Cola, as opposed to the 330ml cans you thought you were buying). Mobile Content Example 3 Are you sure you’re buying the right size of Coca-Cola can? – Image source: Amazon

The importance of Mobile Hero Images

80 per cent of people are now researching products using mobile devices[5]. Today’s online shoppers are also in a rush, and looking for smooth shopping experiences.  They also don’t want to end up accidentally making the wrong purchase because a product image won’t render as they’d like it to and the information (e.g. the size of a coffee granule canister) becomes unreadable through pixelation.  If a potential customer is using their phone to quickly scroll through your product pages on a site like Amazon or on your own eCommerce site looking for a specific size or variant of your product, you’re going to want them to be able to see that information as easily as possible to enhance your chances of making a successful sale.  Mobile Hero Images (MHI) are product images that have been optimised for mobile screens. They amplify and simplify the benefits of a product for those users. They make better use of the image space available on eRetailer or brands’ own eCommerce sites than traditional standard packshots (still or moving images of products traditionally used in advertising and on eCommerce sites for the past 25 years).  Mobile Hero Images are essential because they put vital product information – brand, format, variant and quantity – front-and-centre of the image, meaning that your potential customer knows exactly what they’re looking at, thereby helping with their purchasing decision. Mobile Content Example 4 Before and after images showing the four vital elements of Mobile Hero Images – brand, variant, format and size – that help mobile shoppers identify what they’re looking at – Image source: Lazada Brands have reported enormous uplifts in sales as a result of using Mobile Hero Images, and we’re delighted, at eBusiness Institute, to have helped some very big names enhance their online sales by advising on and helping them design Mobile Hero Image solutions.  Advising brands on Mobile Hero Images is one of eBusiness Institute’s services, and we have also created a set of best practice guidelines for developing these images. 

Great mobile experiences help you connect with your customers

The fastest path to mobile customers is through a mobile-friendly site. If your site offers a great mobile experience, users are more likely to make a purchase. 

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74 per cent of people said they’re more likely to return to that site in the future
  • 67 per cent of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service[6]

A great mobile site experience – and therefore great mobile content – is becoming increasingly important, and users will keep looking for a mobile-friendly site until they find one that works for them. Lazada Example 1 Don’t treat mobile users as an afterthought – they should benefit from great content that creates a great experience – Image source: Lazada As we explored in the previous blog in this series, It takes great content to create a great shopper experience, ​great Product eContent is proven to influence online buying decisions because it:

  • drives choice of preferred eRetailer
  • engages consumers to spend more online
  • is a purchase decision-driver – so many shoppers now choosing to research products online before purchasing, whether online or offline
  • decreases the number of returns caused by poor descriptions
  • makes products more discoverable, both on eCommerce platforms like Amazon or traditional SEO for search engines like Google

The same principles apply when it comes to mobile users shopping on your site. So, if you’re going to create advanced Product eContent like video, make sure that it’s optimised and works well for mobile. Likewise, the payment process needs to be as smooth as it is on a desktop. And be certain that your product descriptions are easily readable on mobile screens. Lazada Example 2 Product details, but also descriptions, ratings, mobile hero images, and many others… this content should all be optimised for mobile – Image source: Lazada

In conclusion – you’ve got to think mobile-first

If your brand or product is going to successfully make sales and ‘win’ online, then it is absolutely essential that your content caters for the majority of your potential online shopping customers – namely, people using mobiles rather than PCs to research and buy products. It follows, then, that your content should anticipate and reflect the demand for quality mobile online shopping experiences. You therefore need a mobile-first approach to all content you produce for an online setting. Non-mobile friendly sites can hurt a company’s reputation because the experience has annoyed or frustrated potential customers. This, in turn, is bad for business, because you will not generate sales nor get repeat business, and your competitors will reap the benefits when what should have been your customers go to them instead. ​

To recap the topics covered in this series of blog posts:


This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute Team.


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