It is hard to believe just how far online retail has come in the space of a few years, and with the advent of smartphones and tablets, buying online has become even more accessible. Where customers were once limited to shopping via their desktop PCs and laptops, new forms of technology mean they can be browsing your online catalogues and buying your goods and services whilst out and about. That means there’s the potential for more sales and more impulse purchases, but also for more problems.
Very often what works well on the big screen of a computer or laptop does not translate to the smaller screen “real estate” of a smartphone or tablet. Websites which look good full-size can become virtually impossible to navigate on a smaller hand-held device, with the pinching, zooming, scrolling and clumsy typing leaving potential customers frustrated. If negotiating their way to the checkout of your website is too hard on their smartphone, the customer is more likely to abandon their virtual shopping basket and swipe away to somewhere else. A simplified checkout system specially designed for mobile users can reduce that risk, and being mobile-ready has never been so important.
A cursory glance at fellow commuters during rush hour will tell you just how popular and, indeed, necessary smartphones and tablets have become in our day-to-day lives. Statistics from Deloitte’s survey “Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016” suggest that about 80% of global consumers have a smartphone, with half owning tablet computers and a further 10% using some sort of wearable technology. Altogether, around 7% of global consumers have all three. While these are staggering numbers and the shift to mobile technology has been widely embraced and celebrated, online retailers have been surprisingly slow to adapt. Many have failed to keep pace with the rapid rate of change, and being slow off the mark in the digital world means they are missing out on a sizeable new market and putting mobile users of their online stores at a disadvantage.
Portable devices mean your customers have instant access to your online store and can make a purchase anywhere and at any time, but with the distractions of the world around them and calls, texts or emails all vying for their attention through the same small screen, ensuring you get them through the checkout can be tricky. Customers shopping through their smartphones and tablets are far more likely to abandon their carts than those on desktop or laptop computers, especially if a less than mobile-friendly checkout process requires too much time and effort on their part.
The smaller screen of a smartphone does not lend itself well to too much text offering product details and technical information, or requiring them to fill in addresses, provide payment information or create an account. Open internet networks can also put customers off since entering their card details when they cannot be sure a website is secure naturally makes people wary.
Downsizing and improving
Whatever products and services your company provides, no business in the e-commerce sector can disregard the importance of the mobile shopper. Making your online store more smartphone-friendly is not just a ‘nice-to-do’ gesture but a ‘need-to-do’ one. An overly complicated and tedious checkout process drives customers away, and in the time it takes to swipe left, you can lose trade to a rival with a more mobile-friendly website.
While online retailers can’t affect smartphone manufacturers, they can be more proactive when it comes to designing their own online stores and virtual checkouts. Simplifying the checkout process and finding alternative payment solutions geared towards smartphone shoppers can make a real difference, enhancing the mobile customer experience and significantly boosting conversion rates.
Mobile-optimised systems can enable customers to enter their details just once, with cookies ensuring they will be remembered when they next return to the site. Customers are then able to pay securely with a single click during future transactions, perhaps being prompted for just one or two details for identification purposes.
Klarna has long been developing just such intelligent mobile payment systems, finding the best ways to simplify checkout processes and make them better suited to the smartphone market. Mobile-optimised till systems with faster, far more straightforward and less time-consuming steps to payment will keep customers engaged. This reduces the risk of trolley abandonment, making sure you don’t miss out on valuable sales in this rapidly growing market. We have been ahead of the curve when it comes to adapting payment processes for the digital age, so why not contact our expert team today to ensure your online store is mobile-ready.