Fight Mobile Checkout Abandonment with the Perfect Process

NOVEMBER 20, 2014
Written by Reine Smith

 
Checkout abandonment is a universal problem that plagues both desktop and mobile devices. Last week, we analyzed the most potent conversion killers among mobile ecommerce shoppers. Today, we’re going to take a slightly different (and slightly more positive approach) by putting together a hypothetical perfect checkout for mobile shoppers.
 

mobile checkout abandonment

 

The Perfect Checkout is Fast

In general, checkout abandonment rates are increasing each year. Coincidentally, websites are loading slower with each passing year. According to a new study from Radware, the median load-time for the top-100 ecommerce websites is 6.5 seconds–a 23% speed decrease from last year.

This trend is strange considering that consumer patience isn’t growing in-line with increasing website sluggishness. The problem becomes even more pronounced in the mobile sphere, where connection speeds are nearly half as fast, on average.

Keep Java and CSS as light as possible to minimize checkout abandonment rates. Pages need to load quickly and moving from one page to the next should be a snap. To test your checkout, make use of mobile speed tests to ensure that your website clocks in at a reasonable time.
 

The Perfect Checkout is Brief

As far as best practices go, asking your users for unnecessary information at the checkout phases of purchasing is a dangerous game. Doing this same thing within a mobile checkout structure is doubly disruptive. A mobile checkout (any checkout, really) should contain only the following steps:

  1. Shipping info, including email address.
  2. Billing info.
  3. Order review.
  4. Order placement.

Asking for unnecessary personal information for marketing purposes simply further delays the conversion and increases checkout abandonment rates. While analysis has shown that no single checkout type has an inherent advantage over another, thoroughly optimized forms that request as little as possible always perform best, regardless of structure.

As highly developed as ecommerce has become over the years, some companies still fail to offer guest checkout. Mobile commerce site with low checkout abandonment rates offer guest checkout clearly and above the fold. Don’t force a user to swipe down the page to find the button. At this point, registration should be the exception to the norm that is guest checkout.
 

The Perfect Checkout is Accessible

Mobile devices take the “and click” out of “point and click.” Without a mouse or trackpad, users are tapping screens and, unfortunately, we’re not quite as precise as pixel-perfect mice. To reduce mobile checkout abandonment, you need to design for the bluntness of fingertips. Simply put, make your buttons big for clumsy thumbs.
 

musiciansfriend_buttons_thumb
The radial and ‘continue’ buttons are extremely large on Musiciansfriend.com, making them unmissable.

 

The bigger your buttons, the easier they are to press and the less of a chance you have of stirring up input frustrations.

You’ll also want to take advantage of the various default smartphone utilities. Activate the numpad in place of a full keyboard when asking for a telephone number, use the iPhone’s smooth scrolling window for drop-down menus, and so on.

One particularly underutilized component of the smartphone is, shockingly enough, the ability to make phone calls. Customer service is always appreciated and, if you offer phone support, why not make it just a simple tap away?

ao_support_thumb

The perfect checkout takes a play from Ao.com’s book and allows mobile shoppers to call for support by simply pressing a button. Reducing checkout abandonment is often as simple as making help easily available where help is needed.
 

The Perfect Checkout is Direct

Though nobody can deny the efficacy of cross-selling throughout the shopping process, when the selections are made and the credit cards are out, it’s time to remove any distractions and move forward towards conversion. Attempts to sell more or direct the shopper towards further browsing just promotes checkout abandonment.
 

direct_checkout_thumb
Cabela’s and Home Depot both do a good job at reducing distractions at checkout, however, Home Depot removes all navigational elements except for the single link to the homepage, making it more effective.

 

An ideal mobile checkout structure removes most navigational elements from the page, but doesn’t trap the user. Leave a single, fairly discrete link back to the homepage, but don’t give the shopper the opportunity to abandon checkout and start the shopping process anew by looking at product categories.
 

The Perfect Checkout is Secure

Finally, as always, users want that sense of important security as they advance through checkout. As we discussed last week, the want for security is amplified as people tend to trust mobile connections less.

So, how does the perfect checkout reduce mobile abandonment? For starters, it’s a good idea to have checkout built on HTTPS. This provides security benefits behind the scenes and most mobile browsers display a padlock at near the URL to reinforce these benefits.

cab_secure2

To further reduce checkout abandonment, you’re going to need some visual reinforcement on the page, as well. These can be varied, and should reflect checkout’s overall style. The example below from Saks Fifth Avenue demonstrates a minimalist padlock that reinforces user security while staying in-brand.

saks_secure

By leveraging various icons and trust seals, you can fight checkout abandonment by making shoppers feel safe about putting in their card info.
 

As the mobile sector continues to grow, battling checkout abandonment on smartphones and tablets is only going to get more important. For more information on reducing checkout abandonment among both mobile and desktop shoppers, contact UpSellit.

 
 
Written by Reine Smith


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