Shopify is known to be one of the world’s most popular platforms for creating online stores. Despite the fact that this CMS (Content Management System) is quite well optimized for today’s needs, the requirements for Shopify mobile optimization are constantly expanding. Therefore, e-commerce merchants always have some technical aspects to improve upon in order to keep their Shopify stores perfectly optimized for mobile devices. So, below we’ll explore how to optimize Shopify for Mobile?

Before you proceed with the tips on how to make your Shopify store mobile-friendly, make sure you’ve learned extra practical advice on Shopify maintenance and optimization from our Shopify Speed Optimization Guide.

Ever since mobile devices have become a part of most people’s lives, the range of its uses has been constantly increasing. In the past, people typically browsed online stores from their mobile devices then purchased from a desktop later. Today, along with the increase in mobile traffic, we are seeing an increase in the trust in mobile devices, and as a result, a significant increase in mobile purchases.

In this article we will discuss the factors of Shopify mobile optimization:

  • What are the real benefits you get with a mobile optimized Shopify store that meets all the latest requirements
  • What aspects and issues to look out for
  • How to make a Shopify website mobile-friendly

What Are the Features of a Mobile-Optimized Shopify Store?

The mobile version of a Shopify site is considered a full-fledged separate development project from the desktop version with an individually developed design, usability development and content optimization. Mobile-friendly Shopify websites must meet the following features:

  • Fast loading speed
  • Comfortable navigation
  • Adapted forms for buyers to input their information
  • Content readability
  • Ability to switch to the desktop version
  • Encourage browsers to convert to buyers

It is not necessary to have in-depth knowledge of web design best practices to understand that an online resource is not mobile-friendly. Many users make such conclusions intuitively, and then simply leave the site. Therefore, e-commerce merchants should be interested in providing their users with the best shopping experience on both mobile devices and desktop.

What Are the Perks of a Shopify Mobile-Friendly Store?

Today, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of mobile optimization. However, if you need more clear facts and proof that a perfectly optimized Shopify store can bring you real benefits, read further.

#1 Improved SEO rankings

Number one advantage of Shopify mobile optimization is the improved positions in Google Search results. Back in 2014 Google warned website owners that users are using mobile devices to search for products online more and more often. Since the main goal for a search engine is to provide users with the best online experience, Google said mobile-optimized websites will be prioritized when ranking.

Today, more than 65% of search requests are sent from mobile devices. Consequently, Shopify websites optimized for mobile get higher positions and are able to bring more quality traffic to the store.

#2 Increased conversion rate and decreased bounce rate as a result of Shopify mobile optimization

The main goal of any online store is to make sales. A site that is not optimized for mobile devices will lose the lion’s share of potential buyers from the first seconds of their interaction with the site. Landing on a webpage, users immediately understand whether or not a comfortable interaction with the site is possible. When it’s not, they will return back to the search results page to find a more suitable resource.

You can easily track this behavior using analytics data. You will definitely see a growing bounce rate. If this indicator is high, it means that users leave the site within a few seconds without performing a single action on the page.

Following the growth of the bounce rate, you can see a correlation with conversions. After all, if most users leave the site, there is no one left to be converted into customers.

Based on this, a well-optimized Shopify mobile-friendly store will work to retain customers from the first seconds and give them all the opportunities for a flawless buying experience.

#3 Improved customer experience and satisfaction

This advantage is a direct result of the work done on optimization and follows from the previous two points. Mobile users, getting to your site, can quickly and easily find the product they are interested in, get information about it and your services, and make a purchase by paying in a few clicks. This is the best customer experience and creates loyal customers who want to return to your store more than once for new purchases and recommend it to their friends and family.

Is Your Shopify Store Mobile Friendly?

If you already have an online store on Shopify, before you start optimizing it for mobile view, you need to first analyze and understand whether your site needs improvements and any problems you have to solve.

To get a quick answer to this question, we recommend using a Google native service called Google Mobile Friendly Test.

mobile friendly Google test

With its help you can analyze every page of your website and find out whether Google considers it mobile-friendly or not.

mobile friendly test result

In addition, you can view the HTML code of the page you are checking, a screenshot of how Google sees it, and other useful information. The easiest way to get this information for the entire site is to use the Google Search Console under Experience > Mobile Usability.

Mobile friendly pages: Search Console

In this way, you can track critical bugs on an ongoing basis and respond quickly to fix them.

Another great testing method is manual testing. While the Google mobile bot evaluates more of the technical side of the Shopify mobile view, the purpose of manual testing is to check the usability of the site for users.

In order to test the site in this way, browse it from different mobile devices and check all possible scenarios of the user journey from entering the site to making a purchase. The main thing here is not to get hung up on your own preferences and tastes, but to be guided exclusively by the best practices recommended to improve the user experience for mobile devices.

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How to Optimize Shopify for Mobile: 8 Steps

In addition to the technical issues that the search engine pays attention to, site owners should also pay attention to the optimization of page elements, which play a very important role in improving behavioral factors. Thanks to the years of research and analysis of behavior and satisfaction for mobile Shopify users, it is possible to form a number of best practices that you should first rely on when optimizing Shopify stores for mobile devices. We will consider the most important of them below.

#1 Simplify Shopify mobile-friendly navigation

The first difficulty your Shopify mobile users may encounter is inconvenient or too complicated mobile navigation. Imagine you acquired a user organically and they landed on the homepage. Now they want to look around, find out what services you provide, what products you sell, and what categories of goods are presented in the catalogs. The user will definitely not waste several minutes searching for menus, company descriptions or contacts. If they cannot quickly spot the information they’re after, they will simply leave the page and buy from your competitors.

Good navigation of the Shopify mobile view is a demanding thing. It should provide an ideal user journey through the store and at the same time fit into compact interface elements so as not to distract users from the main content.

Navigation in the Shopify mobile view shouldn’t be the same as the desktop one. Instead, it should be more compact, easy to tap around and understand, and include the links to vital pages and information only.

This vital info should always remain in the users’ viewport. That’s why keeping the navigation bar in sight is the best solution. Such a sticky menu should include at least the following items:

  • 1. Your logo
  • 2. Search bar
  • 3. Account sign-in
  • 4. “Cart” icon
  • 5. Fast access to all other pages (e.g. hamburger menu)
Sticky menu: Shopify mobile optimization

#2 Minimize text on product pages

With all its advantages, smartphones are not very convenient for reading long texts. If the desktop version of your site is lettered with textual information, give up on the idea of transferring all that content to the mobile version of your Shopify store. Leave only the key points that really affect the user journey.

The structure of the mobile version should also be as simple as possible. Analyze the mobile user behavior on your Shopify store (Google Analytics will help), and then get rid of the options that are not in demand among mobile users.

#3 Optimize your images

If you put images with a width of 1200 px on the desktop version of your store, you do not need to do the same on the mobile version. Instead, you should use images of smaller sizes, the ones that will fit smartphone screens and be more lightweight.

By reducing the size of the images, you increase their download speed. Potential customers as well as Google’s algorithms will be grateful.

Shopify mobile optimization is a wide topic, and image optimization is a part that should be explored in detail. That’s why we suggest you read more about it in our insightful guide on Shopify image optimization.

#4 Thumb zone optimization

Navigating a website using a laptop or a desktop PC is unlikely to be difficult. The mouse cursor facilitates this. But navigating a mobile version of a store (regardless of the platform it is built on) with your fingers is a completely different story. You should always keep this in mind when deciding on the placement of interactive elements throughout the mobile version of your Shopify store.

Every button should be big enough to be tapped with a thumb. Also, make sure there is enough space between the buttons so that users don’t accidentally hit another button next to it.

However, the most widely used technique is the one based on detailed diagrams of the ergonomics of mobile devices, built on the “rule of thumb”. This approach is based on studies of how users hold and operate their smartphones. As it turns out, 75% of people touch the display with only the thumb. Thus, the researchers segmented the areas of the mobile phone screen according to the ease of interaction with it with fingers. Originally, an article posted in 2016 proposed the following example:

Shopify mobile optimization: thumb zone

Today, when the screen size of most smartphones is much bigger, the modernized screen accessibility scheme looks like this:

Shopify thumb zone optimization

So when you’re plotting out your navigation, keep the natural thumb placement and accessibility in mind.

#5 Make CTAs visible all the time

CTA is a call-to-action button. Its use is to make the desired action obvious and easy to complete.

Since we are dealing with a smaller screen, it is not a good idea to overload the visitor by placing more than one CTA on the page. Focus on one goal – subscription or purchase (depending on the type of a page). The right call-to-action will give you an edge over your competitors.

According to statistics, 53% of websites where it takes more than 3 seconds to find a CTA lose potential customers. It’s too long. CTA should be detected by the user in 1-2 seconds.

So the first thing you should do is make sure that the CTA is big enough, that it is presented in a contrasting color but at the same time is not annoying.

#6 Optimize the Shopify mobile forms and checkout

Don’t force users to fill out huge forms. It is important that they are light and have a minimal number of fields to fill. More of that, you can:

  • Offer customers to save the entered data
  • Split forms into several stages
  • Use drop-down lists with filling options, etc.

Next, you need to follow the user journey towards making a purchase and make sure it is convenient and easy to do. Make sure that:

  • When a product is added to a cart, a corresponding notification appears with a suggestion to checkout or continue shopping. Also, the number of added products should appear in the header of the site.
  • Product description in the shopping cart should contain a product image, price, quantity, and total cost of the order.
  • When placing an order, it is convenient to fill in all the fields, and that drop-down lists are displayed correctly.
  • The forms are configured to check for contact data.
  • All forms are submitted correctly. A pop-up notification appears when submitting.
  • It is possible to register in different ways (email, Google account, Facebook, etc.)

#7 Avoid pop-ups

For desktop users, a few pop-up windows will not be a problem (although they might cause irritation). But for mobile users pop-ups are a trouble. Get rid of pop-ups on the mobile version of your Shopify store. People don’t like them in general, but on mobile devices, persistent pop-ups call for anger. They not only cover the whole screen, but it is quite difficult to close them.

Remember, people use their thumbs to click on small screens. The small “X” button to close the pop-up on the gadget screen will be so small that closing it will become an overwhelming task. Most attempts will lead to clicking the ad and finally switching to another page. Of course you want people to click on it, but definitely not accidentally and only when they are interested in your offer.

Can’t do without the pop-up and don’t know how to optimize Shopify pop-ups for mobile? Make sure the whole area is not clickable. Make a CTA button within the popup and embed a link there. Thus, the user will click it only when they really need what you have to offer. In this case, both parties will be satisfied.

#8 Speed up your Shopify store

After you’ve learned how to optimize Shopify for mobile, aligned your store with the latest requirements and best practices of optimization for mobile devices and made sure you have a mobile-friendly Shopify theme, your final step would be optimizing the performance of your store.

Although Shopify itself is famous for its fast loading, every app and every new feature you add or change within the website may harm the performance of the store, which ends up negating all your efforts.

Since Shopify does not provide you with the full access to the source code, there are only a few possible ways to optimize performance. These are:

  • Complete revision of installed apps
  • Additional optimization of images, product photos and media used throughout the website
  • Reducing number of HTTP requests
  • Using Lazy Load
  • Minimizing redirects and eliminating broken links

All these and several other Shopify mobile speed optimization techniques we’ve discussed in our Shopify speed optimization guide, which definitely deserves a read.

If you do exactly what we suggest, the results will amaze you. Need some proof? Just take a look at one of our recent projects.

Final Thoughts

Having a successful e-commerce business in 2024 and beyond is a real challenge. Mobile shopping is more popular every day and it is truly vital that your store is optimized for mobile conversions. Now you know how to optimize Shopify for mobile. Sticking to our 8-steps guide is your first move towards providing your potential customers with a perfect mobile experience, thus improving your conversion rate and finally gaining more sales.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you still have questions about Shopify speed optimization or any other improvement your Shopify store might need. We provide Shopify development services of any kind and have a vast experience in building and supporting e-commerce merchants who run their businesses on Shopify.

About the author
Content Manager & SEO Analyst
Olha is a Content Manager and SEO Analyst at Whidegroup. Starting as a Content Writer for software and web development topics in 2011, Olha has always been guided by a desire to thoroughly inspect every field of study before writing a single word. She found her passion in e-commerce and delighted in expanding her expertise in web development, analytics and SEO for small to medium e-commerce businesses.
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