This article was originally ghost-written for Plumber’s Plus business website, which is now defunct.

It’s true that your consumers are still spending more time on their desktops than on their mobile devices. A recent study from eMarketer shows that the mobile access has topped 10% of all Internet traffic. If your retail website is not optimized for tablets and smart phones, you may be losing out on significant profits in the coming year.

An infographic from Shopify shows that the percentage of orders placed on mobile devices grew to 17% from 7% in 2012, and that mobile traffic will grow to 40% in 2013.

The merchant accounts specialists at Instabill predict that, in 2013, the number of people using smart phones will increase from the current count of over 2 billion. They recommend that business improve the usability of their mobile offerings through smart phone website optimization and tablet applications.

Forrester Research indicates that mobile eCommerce sales may reach $25 billion next year, and you would be remiss in ignoring consumer desire for mobile-specific shopping experiences. Many retail sites are guilty of committing five design sins.

  1. Not considering mobile devices –  Your website should have a responsive design that reacts to a visitor’s device or will render in a pleasing manner on small screens.
  2. Having poor checkout experiences – Too much friction during the checkout process is going to alienate your customers. This includes too many fields over too many web pages and validations that empty fields. Make sure your checkout is secure, fast, and simple.
  3. Having small and too few images – Make sure that you have several large images with zoom options on all of your product detail pages.
  4. Not keeping it simple – While keeping your product graphics detailed, if your site navigation is confusing or you have too many other graphics or weird icons, you’re going to lose the interest of your customers. Keep your design simple and attractive so that it helps buyers to make the decision to buy from your site.
  5. Having tiny or old fonts – More and more online shoppers are not that computer savvy and will be more comfortable with large, legible print. With the option to choose from many web optimized fonts, pick a good one and don’t be afraid have large fonts.

If you want to stay competitive, you need to stay on top of these trends. Your website should function properly on a variety of mobile devices and you should seriously consider having an app presence. Consumers will be expecting platform-specific offers, improved shopping experiences, content that is geo-specific, and other features that fit their ever-increasing mobile lifestyles.