If you have been skeptical as to whether or not mobile shopping will ever take off, it’s time to take off the blinders and embrace the inevitable: Mobile shopping is here to stay, and if all indications hold true, it’s eventually going to overtake all other forms of online shopping in terms of dollars spent. In fact, in the first two days of the 2015 holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving and Black Friday, sales via smartphone accounted for $1.5 billion of the total $4.5 billion spent by U.S. consumers.
Still, even with more people actually completing transactions using their mobile devices, the majority of consumers still use their devices primarily to research purchases, which they then complete on a desktop computer or in person. Several factors account for this reluctance to complete purchases via mobile, including security concerns, but another point where many would-be shoppers get stuck is the checkout. More specifically, the checkout process on many devices is cumbersome, thanks to their smaller screen size, making it difficult and frustrating to complete the transaction with ease.
While many entrepreneurs and businesses have been able to successfully create ecommerce websites that are mobile-friendly, many fail to take the important step of adjusting their checkout process as well. By not addressing the unique needs and expectations of mobile shoppers, these companies may be driving those customers away from their mobile sites — and perhaps their shop altogether.
Shorten Checkout Forms
Long checkout forms are cumbersome on a desktop — how any of us have rolled our eyes as we enter our email address twice, add multiple contact phone numbers, answer questions about how we found the retailer and whether we want to receive newsletters, and on and on. What should be a simple process can often feel like an inquisition, and takes longer than it should. Now imagine completing that checkout on a mobile device, where you have to scroll and tap repeatedly, and have a greater chance of missing a question that will affect your ability to complete the transaction.
The solution, of course, is to shorten your checkout form. You might sacrifice some market research when you can’t track your advertising efforts, but which is worse: That, or not making the sale at all? Keep your checkout simple, and only collect the information that’s absolutely necessary in order to streamline the transaction.
Offer Multiple Ways to Log-In
About three-quarters of online stores offer the option to check out as a guest, without creating an account, and there is a reason for that: Not everyone wants to spend the time necessary to create an account, or provide that information to a retailer.
Retailers that have been the most successful in terms of online sales tend to offer their customers options, including logging in to an existing account, creating an account, and checking out as a guest. For someone who already has an account with your company, allowing them to easily log in on their mobile device ups the chances of making a sale. In fact, offering a social login via Facebook is shown to increase sales, since 74 percent of customers prefer being able to use one password for multiple sites, and the convenience of not having to enter all of their information.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
Again, most consumers hesitate to make mobile purchases due to the challenges of entering all of the necessary information using their smaller touchscreen devices. You can combat that resistance and increase sales by offering easy payment options like PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout, or Amazon. In fact, one survey showed a 101 percent increase in conversion rates when companies offered alternative payment options.
Offering one of these options early in the checkout process can help customers make their purchase in just a two or three swipes, without having to enter any information. Not to mention, using one of these secure payment options helps customers feel safer buying via phone or tablet. PayPal, for example, allows for biometric login on certain devices. Customers log into the payment site using fingerprint recognition, which keeps their account secure.
Making mobile checkout easy seems like an obvious task, but the number of online retailers who don’t focus on streamlining this process indicates that it might not be as obvious as it appears. If you are seeing a lot of activity on your mobile site, but not many conversions, review your mobile checkout procedures and make changes that your customers want.