According to Business Insider Intelligence, mobile commerce is rising at a 25.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and will comprise 44% of all eCommerce sales by 2024. The trend makes sense given the rise of the app economy. Our smartphones enable us to do everything from manage our finances to casually browse products and share insights with our friends and family. Not to mention, Gen Z is entering the global workforce and implementing their purchasing power.
As a retailer, one of the smartest moves you can make is to improve the usability of your mobile checkout experience. Research shows that a website’s look, feel, and ease of use determines whether a shopper is likely to stick around. Here are some less-than-obvious, yet high-impact, strategies to try.
1. Use an address verification solution
One of the challenges with mobile shopping experiences is screen size. At the point of checkout, typos are common, and when something goes wrong with respect to order fulfillment, the burden is on the store to correct the issue (i.e., processing returns, replacing items, paying postage for redeliveries). As the pace of eCommerce speeds up, there’s greater potential for things to go wrong.
An address verification solution can help you get ahead of this challenge. This technology uses an application programming interface (API) that compares user-inputted addresses with official records. API can help fix typos, auto-populate form fields, and standardize addresses to official postal records. This verification process may also qualify your business for shipping discounts from official carriers (as an incentive to reduce delivery errors, which is a multi-billion dollar problem).
Examples of address verification software include Loqate and SmartyStreets.
2. Optimize your search functionality
Mobile devices help shoppers access information quickly, which also means that your competitors are a search or series of clicks away too.
One way to keep people on your website longer is to make your website more searchable. Research has found that 44% of shoppers rank relevant search results as the most important factor when browsing products.
The trend makes sense. When people know what they want, the best way to support them is providing straightforward path to getting it. It’s estimated that 72% of sites fail eCommerce search expectations, but BigCommerce has created a guide to addressing this problem with a checklist of tactical steps to take.
3. Make cart access easy and visible
Nielsen Norman Group, one of the world’s leading usability research teams, advises that retailers provide simple and easy access to shopping carts.
On mobile, shoppers are usually looking to move fast and delays may create a barrier for people in getting what they want. With easy access to a cart, buyers can make adjustments, remove items, and check out as soon as they’re ready. Offering a visible shopping cart will help ensures that shoppers feel a sense of personal ownership in the buyer’s journey.
4. Condense the number of form fields
Amazon and the Baymard Institute have found that an increased number of form fields in the checkout process results in a decrease in completed checkouts.
“The good news is that the number of form fields required for completing a checkout can be reduced to as few as six to eight fields, as shown here in these mockups of a shipping and a payment step,” the report stated.
The more mandatory form fields, the more friction a buyer is likely to experience during the checkout process. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to check out.
5. Offer reminders
It’s common for people to forget to check out — 88% common, according to Statista. One powerful way to influence sales is to offer reminders. Three low-hanging approaches to try are:
- Reminder emails. If someone created an account on your website, target that individual with an abandoned cart notice by sending a friendly reminder in case that person forgot. Here are some sample abandoned cart reminders from HubSpot.
- Retargeting ads. Using Google AdSense, Facebook, or other advertising networks, retarget people based on their shopping behavior. A thoughtful ad can help you reach your audience with information they may have left behind. For inspiration, ManyChat has compiled a list of the eight best Facebook retargeting ads.
- A chatbot. If your customer or prospect has opted in to receiving messages from your company, send a checkout reminder using a chatbot platform. Check out this resource to help you build an abandoned cart flow in ManyChat, or a multichannel abandoned cart template from ManyChat here.
When sending reminders, be sure to communicate relevant information such as whether you’re running low on inventory or if a deal is about to expire. And as an added incentive, consider targeting your audience with an offer or promotion.
The bottom line
Smartphones make shoppers’ lives easier with the ability to access what they need in a few clicks, taps, and swipes.
At the same time, however, mobile user interfaces are prone to typos due to small screen sizes and forgetfulness thanks to the fleeting nature of mobile activity. So make sure you’re looking out for your audiences and keep their checkout experiences as streamlined as possible.
Deepen your customer conversations by creating a chatbot. Try ManyChat for free, today.