The explosive growth of mobile commerce has seen many retailers focus their attention on mobile optimisation to capitalize on the rapidly expanding market.
It’s easy to understand why mobile commerce is such a huge talking point. According to comScore, in late 2010, mobile devices accounted for only 3% of ecommerce revenue. By the end of 2012 that figure had risen to 11%.
These days it’s not uncommon for people to use mobiles devices to do their banking, renew their insurance, book a holiday and do their weekly grocery shopping. With users rapidly becoming more comfortable carrying out consumer actions on their mobiles, retailers need to ensure that they are offering the best experience possible to their customers.
One area that is key to conversion rates are checkouts. Here are 11 tips on how to improve the mobile checkout process:
Form filling can be extremely frustrating for users, especially on a mobile device. Avoid cart abandonment opportunities by only asking for vital information during the checkout process.
Make it easier for users by asking if the shipping and billing address are the same. Don’t ask users to enter the same information over and over on each stage; use the received data to populate subsequent forms.
The main aim of your checkout is to get the user to complete the transaction; any information that isn’t necessarily for the transaction to be completed should be removed. You can always ask for additional information after the transaction is complete or with a follow-up email.
2. Organise your checkout into stages
Reduce the cognitive load by splitting the checkout process into stages. Overloading the user with information is a sure fire way to encourage cart abandonment. Splitting form filling into stages will also reduce the amount of scrolling the user has to do on their device.
You want the user to progress through the checkout with as little anxiety as possible. Prioritise the stages to ensure the most important information is taken first. Getting the user to enter their email address early will allow you to send transaction related emails if they abandon their cart during the checkout process.
3. Visualise the checkout process
Letting the user see where they are in the checkout process is a great way of reducing customer anxiety. Using a visual indicator will allow them to clearly see how far they have progressed and how many steps are left to complete the transaction.
Users are often cautious about using web browser back buttons due to the fear of losing data they have already entered.
Adding progress step links or back buttons within your checkout will reassure users that their data will be retained if they need to go back to amend details.
5. Utilise familiar mobile UI elements
Mobile users are more than likely going to be interacting via touch, so use user interface (UI) elements that reflect this. The example above shows how the UI changes from desktop to mobile to complement user interaction.
Allowing users to complete a transaction without registering is one of the most significant changes you can make to increase your conversion rate. Most people are familiar with the $300 million button story – simply by removing a mandatory registration step, an ecommerce site was able to increase their conversion rate by 45%, which increased their annual revenue by $300,000,000!
Quick payment options like PayPal and Google Wallet are great ways of increasing conversion rates. They will often already store user data such as delivery addresses and card details, which will drastically reduce the amount of time the user needs to spend in the checkout process.
They are also forms of payment that offer security reassurances for customers due to the high levels of trust associated with such services.
8. Remove distractions
Get rid of any unnecessary distractions that could take the user out of the checkout process. Remove any navigation or distractions that doesn’t relate to the transaction such as the navigation bar, widgets, adverts and social media buttons.
While stripping away distractions is a great way of keeping your customer focused on the checkout, you will still need to provide the necessary security reassurances to reinforce trust.
Many retailers offer free store delivery of goods purchased online. If you offer store pick-up delivery, then using geolocation is a quick and easy way for users to find their nearest store.
11. Keep it lightweight
According to Gomez, 74% of visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than five seconds to load. It is vital that your checkout pages load quickly to reduce the risk of cart abandonment. Performance is key to a great mobile experience. Google’s GoMo tool is useful for finding out how quickly your mobile site loads.
Ultimately many of the principles of desktop checkouts carry over into mobile. The idea is not to confuse or trick the user into a conversion. The process should be a win-win situation whereby users are able to complete a transaction without frustration or anxiety, and the suppliers are able to build trustworthiness and increase their sales.