In Business

Why Online Businesses Must Offer a Mobile-Optimized Checkout Page

It’s a scene that plays out on living room couches, commuter trains, and in break rooms across the country.

A consumer realizes that they have a need or a desire. It could be anything from a new vacuum cleaner, to a trendy outfit spotted on an entrepreneur at a networking event.

When such realizations strike, we sometimes go into immediate gratification mode. We want the thing, and we want it right now.

You don’t want to get in your car and deal with the mall parking garage. You don’t want to deal with crowded shopping aisles.

So, you take to the Internet, wherever you are: at home, in the car, sitting in traffic. Your mobile device can instantly deliver on what you want.

This trend toward e-commerce, or more broadly online shopping, is a trend with no expectation of slowing down.

Experts predict that by 2040, around 95 percent of all purchases will be completed online. 

Just imagine a world without crowded shopping centers during the holidays. It gives us all the feels.

One impactful factor helping to reinforce the popularity of online shopping is the power and convenience of the mobile device.

Thanks to proliferation of this platform, we can achieve instant shopping gratification anywhere, anytime, from any Internet-enabled smartphone or tablet.

It’s the mobile economy (or e-conomy) in the digital age, and it’s redefining how consumers find and purchase products.

Every retail business or solution provider of every size must consider strategizing an e-commerce offering—and it absolutely must optimize for today’s devices.

Mobile Shopping Trends

It only takes a few moments of observing couples at a restaurant, employees in an office, or screenagers—oops, we mean teenagers—in any setting to realize we are a mobile-dependent nation of digitally tethered information-seekers.

According to a study conducted in April 2019, the global mobile population amounted to 4 billion unique users. As of February 2019, mobile devices accounted for 48 percent of web page views worldwide.

Distilling these statistics down to just national e-commerce statistics, we find that mobile traffic accounts for 50.48 percent of all e-commerce traffic.
That means that a mobile optimized shopping experience must be a priority for all retail entities and service providers. 

The Paradigm Shift to Mobile e-Commerce

When did we become such mobile-centric shoppers? Based on data accumulated over three years, 2017 was the year when mobile e-commerce finally surpassed desktop:

  • In January 2015, mobile accounted for 19.47% of total e-commerce traffic. That month, desktop traffic was 346.97% the size of mobile, accounting for 67.57% of customer’s shopping sessions.
  • Throughout 2015, mobile traffic grew 48.83% while computer traffic reduced by 12%.
  • By the start of 2017, customers shopped on phones 38.76% of the time. Four months later, mobile shopping reached its tipping point, finally eclipsing desktop traffic for the first time. 

Mobile vs. Desktop

Why is mobile shopping such a powerful retail mechanism? After all, it is reliant upon a smaller screen and requires a wi-fi connection or ample monthly smartphone data.

It’s so powerful because of its omnipotent convenience of any time, anywhere shopping.

As a nation of consumers with abbreviated attention spans and fragmented lifestyles, one can’t rely on a frazzled mind to remember to buy a birthday gift for an out-of-town sister. (That doesn’t even include finding the time for the trip to the post office to mail said gift).

We live in a world today where a shopping need can pop into your head, and moments later you can make that purchase on your mobile device.

Mobile convenience offers the instant gratification of one less weighty to-do list item in a seemingly never-ending list. 

Mobile-First Design and Retail’s Response to Mobile Shopping Demand

Since mobile shopping earned its status as a preferred channel by consumers, top retailers have responded by optimizing the online shopping experience.

Remember: with greater convenience comes greater purchasing potential.

Before such efforts, inefficient shopping experiences impeded mobile buying.

In the early days of mobile e-commerce, the average conversion rate was only 0.5 percent. Since then, conversion rates have skyrocketed, thanks to optimized functionality improvements.

Between 2015 and 2018 alone, mobile e-commerce conversion rates increased 123 percent.

Don’t Risk Cart Abandonment: How to Optimize the Checkout Experience for Mobile Shoppers

Two factors can profoundly impact mobile e-commerce conversions.

The first of importance to retailers was optimizing the product browsing and website usability experience on a mobile device.

Thanks to app development for phones and the integration of responsive technology as a standard in modern website design, consumers can now more efficiently view, scroll, and search for products. The next vital factor impacting mobile e-commerce conversion rates that—if not prioritized—can lead to cart abandonment and lost sales opportunities, is the mobile checkout experience.

The average mobile shopping cart abandonment rate is 81%. With all of the convenience that mobile offers as a whenever and whenever you want it shopping mechanism, why are shoppers clicking Add to Cart, but not clicking the all-important Checkout button?

Too often, it’s because of poorly implemented checkout experiences. An inefficient or unprofessional checkout page can, within seconds, result in lost trust and preference to take one’s shopping needs elsewhere. It’s not surprising that shoppers looking for instant gratification have little to no patience for unresponsive mobile checkout pages.

The slow page load speeds, as well as unclear purchasing, return, or shipping terms are all factors to consider in this loss of potential customers.

The Importance of Mobile Checkout Ease of Use

With so much potential for sales, retailers can’t afford to offer anything other than a simple, safe, and straightforward mobile checkout experience.

39% of mobile shoppers have abandoned their shopping cart due to difficulties with entering their personal information on the checkout page.

Let that sink in.

Something that should be as straightforward as providing your contact information on a checkout page, in reality, is a make-it-or-break-it aspect of your e-commerce mobile optimization strategy.

A study conducted by Loqate in 2017 delved further into the behaviors of shoppers and the reasons motivating cart abandonment. The study discovered that shoppers would abandon a potential purchase if the mobile checkout process became inconvenient.

35% left because the screen felt overcrowded or small. and 27% left due to issues finalizing their order. This research tells us that it takes a fully optimized, efficient, and convenient checkout experience to earn a purchase.

How to Optimize Your eCommerce Checkout Pages for Mobile

The best way to optimize your e-commerce mobile checkout experience is to choose the right solutions designed specifically for streamlined and safe desktop and mobile transactions. Still, there are steps you can take to ensure every checkout page you build will promote—not hinder—sales and revenue. 

Implement the following 7 strategies to optimize your checkout page experience.

1. Offer a Mobile Optimized Checkout Page

Ye olde pinch and zoom mobile browsing experience is a massive turnoff to users and is almost always fatal for checkout page conversions.

Ensure your checkout pages are mobile optimized, meaning that the checkout page screen renders optimally on any device—from a full-size desktop monitor to any iOS or Android tablet or smartphone. 

Bonus Ninja Tactic: Spiffy is the only payment solution leveraging mobile-first design optimized for buyers. Just sayin’.

2. Simplify Your Checkout Page

Mobile users are in a hurry.

After all, they could be standing in line at their local coffee shop waiting for their 2 p.m. caffeine buzz.

So, when building your checkout pages, only include form fields that are necessary to the purchase process. Ensure the fields have a logical flow progression and do not require multiple page loads to complete.

Too much time and effort results in prospective buyers walking away from a purchase. That’s not our desired outcome.

Bonus Ninja Tactic: Leverage auto form fill technology to expedite the gathering of information the shopper must provide. For example, ask for their zip code and use it to populate their city and state. BOOM.

3. Use Mobile-First Design 

The way users navigate and interact with digital content matters. There’s a difference between using a desktop computer with mouse in-hand vs. using a smartphone or tablet with the pad of the fingertip.

Ensure that your website and your checkout pages leverage best practices in mobile design. Such tactics should include:

  • Larger buttons with extra padding for more accurate finger-tip clicking.
  • Clear, easy-to-read button text.
  • Replace your navigation bar with a hamburger button (that’s that small icon with three, short horizontal lines stacked on top of one another that will open up a menu on mobile—makes us hungry just thinking about it, too).
  • Put the essential information and clickable content in the center of the screen and to the right. Sorry lefties, but most people are right-handed and navigate content with their right thumb.
  • Incorporate click-to-call phone number functionality, as well as an integrated map location features into your online shopping experience.

4. Offer a Secure Payment Gateway

With recurring news of data privacy breaches, online shoppers are skeptical of any online checkout interface that does not offer recognizable security assurances.

Ensure your website and all transaction pages are backed by an SSL certificate, and that you are using a payment gateway with built-in transaction security and encryption features.

Also, remember that having these security features won’t mean much if you don’t showcase the features to your shoppers. Add a security badge or the logo of your trusted payment gateway to your checkout page to validate for shoppers that your business is taking every effort to protect their data and their financial information.

5. Use a Navigation Bar to Show Checkout Progress

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again.

Mobile shoppers have the patience of a flea.

Prove to your prospects that your checkout process is fast and easy by building a progress bar into your checkout pages.

For example, consider a progress bar that denotes your location within the following steps: Order Details >> Shipping Information >> Payment Information >> Confirmation.

6. Offer Multiple Payment Options

The more options you give to shoppers to pay for your products or services, the greater sense of comfort they will have with your business. Also, they’ll be more likely to complete a transaction.

Ensure you can accept such standard payment options as debit, credit (by accepting multiple credit cards), PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

7. Allow a Guest Checkout Option

Part of your marketing strategy should focus on encouraging subscriptions, loyalty members, and repeat purchasers. The way to accomplish this, however, is not through a forced account creation step on your checkout page.

By allowing shoppers to check out as a guest, you will build trust and won’t risk losing shoppers looking for a quick, expedited checkout experience.

These are just some of the pro-tips for creating mobile-optimized checkout pages. Starting here will minimize shopper frustrations and help boost sales conversions.

Final Thoughts

Your prospects are mobile leaning and looking for products and services like yours to make their lives better.

You already know you offer an outstanding solution to your prospects’ needs. Make it easy for them to make a purchase anytime and anywhere.

By optimizing your mobile shopping experience and building simple, streamlined, secure checkout pages, you’ll minimize clicks on the dreaded cancel button and skyrocket sales and revenue.

Click here for more ninja tactics for driving prospects to make online purchases.