Most online shoppers today have a smartphone, or tablet, or both, and while some still prefer to shop when on their computer, a growing amount of shoppers both browse and purchase with their smartphone or tablet (some even do so on wearables). However, a large amount of businesses worldwide still lack a mobile-friendly website and checkout, failing to address new customer expectations of a smooth buying experience on their phone, leading to a larger percentage of abandoned purchases on mobile devices than on computers.
Adapt to smaller screen sizes
One of the major differences between mobile devices and computers is the screen size, meaning that content that was built for the website now need to be squeezed into smaller sized screens. You can either build an app, a separate mobile version of your website, or implement responsive design. Whichever you choose to do, the aim is to reduce the amount of elements found on the website version, and enhance must-have elements and reduce or remove nice-to-have elements altogether. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly online store and checkout, here are a few tips of what you can do to do alleviate the hassles of shopping online on a mobile device.
1. Enlarge buttons and fonts
Elements that should be enlarged include fonts and buttons. While it might seem that enlarging these elements takes up too much space and leaves out other elements you want to keep in, don’t forget that shopping on a smaller screen makes it trickier to read small fonts, and forcing people to zoom and pinch their way through small fonted texts will lead to abandoned purchases. For buttons, on a mobile, clicking things requires clicking with one’s thumb or other fingers, and at times with just one hand; while shopping on a computer means clicking with a sharp cursor. These are vastly different clicking setups, which means that you should make buttons large enough to click with your thumb.
2. Reduce unnecessary clicking and scrolling whenever possible
Adapting to mobile devices, aim to reduce clicking and scrolling as much as possible. Compared to a standard computer keyboard, typing on a smartphone takes more time and effort, and too much scrolling or clicking one’s way to the final stages of checking out can lead to abandoned purchases.
3. Reduce the amount of fields to fill in
Whenever possible, reduce the amount of fields your customer or prospect needs to fill out (note that this advice is just as useful for your website design as it is for adapting to mobile devices). You could for example use a postcode or personal identity/social security number lookup service, that autofills personal information; or allow people to select their billing address as delivery address.
4. Show that you care about security
As many shoppers often are on the go when shopping on their mobile, many are less inclined to finish a purchase on their mobile device if they don’t feel secure enough to add personal payment details in public. And at times, that credit- or debit card might be hidden away in a purse or pocket, or the wallet is forgotten at home, One way of offering secure payment options is to implement more payment options than card payment, such as an invoice option. Another possibility could be to add in tokens that remember card details and encrypt them, so that the returning customer only needs to agree to use the pre-stored card.
5. Offer a guest checkout option
Forcing customers to create an account to check out or finalise their purchase means added friction that some might not want to take part of. As such, offering a guest checkout option gives customers the chance to choose themselves, and can increase . While an account might mean you gather useful data in order to personalise the relationship with the customer, some will not want to go through the longer process of adding data, and will want the option to checkout with minimal effort. If you really want people to sign up with an account, and it’s a necessity for your business in order to manage orders, then keep it as it is, but let your customers know why they need the account.
When creating or improving your mobile experience on the web and in the checkout, remember that simplicity is a key factor to consider. At times, some added friction might be necessary for business purposes, but most of the time, friction for friction’s sake is a nuisance and will reduce your conversion rate and increase your cart abandonment rate. Shopping on mobile devices compared to on laptops or stationary computers present new challenges, but also new opportunities, to develop your business, and capture new customers who prefer shopping on their mobile.