Mobile Commerce: How to Increase Conversion and Reduce Customer Drop-Offs

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Mobile shopping is the future, in fact according to a comScore white paper mobile usage now represents a whopping 65% of digital media time with desktop and laptop usage considered a “secondary touch point”.

You only need to acknowledge China’s mobile friendly foot paths, dubbed ’phone lanes’, to realise the importance people place on mobile devices these days. Well, at least you wouldn’t bump into anyone I suppose.

What does this all mean for mobile commerce (or m-commerce) and specifically what does it mean for you and your online store? Well in this article we’ll share a few techniques that you can adopt to help you start truly profiting.

Responsive Design

Its been around for a while now but to the un-assuming its a web design, industry wide term that is used to describe the process of tailoring websites for an optimal viewing and interaction experience on devices of any size or dimension. For example, for smaller screen sizes we might change the layout of a web page so that its easier to scroll or we might increase font sizes of content so that it is easier to read. You do this to make your website easier to browse and in the case of m-commerce, easier to buy products.

Responsive design can be applied to every website regardless of whether your site is transactional or not, especially considering that last year responsive design was declared as Google’s recommended design pattern. This means that if your website or online shop is mobile-friendly then your mobile search rankings will improve and by association, Google will demote those sites that are not.

Mobile Devices

Mobile Devices

Ecommerce Microinteractions

Micro interactions were forecast by many, *ahem* including us, to be a major trend this year and there is no doubt that you have already come across them whilst browsing online. Micro interactions are singular task-based actions carried out on a device. These small details, typically serve the essential functions of communicating feedback and/or accomplishing a task, a good real-world example would be switching on a light in your house or in online terms, adding a product to your basket.

These simple little interactions are the details that can and should make a major difference to how your customers interact with your website. Interesting hover effects, button animations and fluid form feedback all equate to a more enjoyable browsing experience for your customer and if they’re happy they are less likely to leave your website.

We had the pleasure of working with German multi-national coffee supplier, Tchibo, to create a Shopify website that enabled them to sell their world renowned coffee’s and sundries to consumers across the UK (Keep your eyes peeled this summer for the launch!). We integrated a number of micro interactions across the site so customers were given feedback no matter how small their interaction was.

Micro Interactions

Micro Interactions

Speeding up the checkout process

For years online retailers, shopping platforms and development agencies alike have been trying to perfect the checkout process for optimum conversion on desktop and laptop computers and it appears, after years of R&D, there does appear to be a more standardised approach adopted by online retailers. However, with the meteoric rise of mobile traffic to online stores, its easy to fall in to the trap that these same approaches will simply just work on mobile devices if you apply some basic responsive design principles. For the most part you wouldn’t be wrong, however with some additional features you can truly make the most of your mobile traffic. With responsive design the customer information you gather on mobile remains the same as for desktop and laptop computers but its how you gather that information that can be enhanced to minimise customer drop offs at your most critical phase. You have to consider that customer interactions on mobile devices such as scrolling up and down long winded checkout forms or even filling out credit card information using a small keyboard feels jarring compared to how easy it can be when using a laptop. This can often leave a feeling of frustration for your customers and in turn can risk higher customer drop offs, all caused by the complexities and barriers introduced by using a much smaller device over a much weaker and often slower internet connection.

“A BI Intelligence report states that by 2020, mobile commerce will make up 45 percent of total e-commerce, equaling $284 billion in sales. That’s more than three times what’s expected for 2016: BI Intelligence predicts mobile commerce will hit 20.6 percent of overall e-commerce, or $79 billion.”

Customers want need your checkout process on mobile to be fast, easy and enjoyable. Here are a couple of techniques you can utilise to improve these aspects of your own store:

1) Card numbers

Generally for billing information an online store can require approximately 6 form fields to be filled in by the customer (excluding billing address.12 form fields if you include this) so reducing the volume of form fields required to be filled out will not only make your customers life easier but also will reduce the time it takes for a customer to complete the order. A good idea would be to implement an alternative solution to the card type drop down menu. For example Shopify have removed the card type drop down menu completely and as the card numbers are unique to the particular card the customer is using, it detects the card number and highlights the correct card, taking more responsibility away from the customer (keep an eye on those Visa & MasterCard icons as a card number is typed below). They also make use of a number of other form micro interactions too.

Creditcard Transaction

Creditcard Transaction

2) Fast mobile payments for mobile websites

Online shopping and mobile phones for that matter, as we all know, are about convenience, think of those of you killing time on your lunch break or commuting to work, we all do it, whether its shopping for an emergency birthday present or otherwise. Take Paypal for example, before their significant marketing campaigns over the last 18 months you may have mistook them as “just that company you use to pay for items on eBay” but they have worked with retailers to offer simple one-click checkout as a additional payment option for customers, instead of using the more traditional purchase process. You don’t have to be a huge enterprise to make use of this though, you just need a Paypal Merchant account to get started. Similarly, Amazon are another major retailer who have got this locked down, called 1-Click Ordering, and it works wonderfully well, even on mobile.

Apple Pay is coming to Shopify stores Fall '16

Apple Pay is coming to Shopify stores Fall '16

Another leading light in the e-Commerce world, Shopify already has a streamlined checkout experience for both desktop and mobile devices. Off the back of Apple’s recent announcement at WWDC16 that Apple Pay is coming to desktop computers, they to have identified Apple’s impact in the e-Commerce arena. In a week crammed full of announcements, Apple’s evolution of its payment service has since prompted Shopify to integrate the service for all of its Shopify customers.What does this mean for me and my online shop? To put it bluntly: the purchase process will be lightening fast, customers will only need their phone and their fingerprint. They won’t need to enter any billing information and although this will work across all Apple devices, including iMac’s and MacBooks, the biggest impact of Apple Pay will be seen by your mobile customers. The volume of customer drop off’s really should reduce. Those previously frustrated customers (who could have gone to a rival competitor) now delighted they’ll be able to checkout quicker than it takes to put the kettle on during their tea break.

The future of shopping on your mobile phone and tablet is evolving, the market will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years thus your mobile traffic will likely increase as a consequence. Be prepared and know your audience, by investing in your online store you ensure your brand is hitting all major consumer touch points, increasing conversions, improving brand value and customer loyalty. The future of mobile shopping is bright but with technologies like Apple Pay still in their infancy, this is just the beginning. What will you do about it?