Mobile Mania – How to Maximise the Potential of Your Mobile Checkout

Long touted as the future of online shopping, mobile is finally making its move into the mainstream. We here at Secure Trading nailed our colours to the mobile mast a long time ago and in previous blogs talked about the rise of mobile shopping and the subsequent importance of a mobile-friendly website. This has been cranked up a notch with the recent announcement that from 21 April 2015, mobile friendliness will count as a ranking signal for Google. What this means is that if you have not yet optimised your site for mobile, or have no intention of doing so, you could find yourself falling off the search engine’s radar – and, subsequently, out of view of the 85% of people who consider their mobile devices as a central part of their everyday lives.

Mobile, then, is no longer merely a ‘nice to have’ addition to the standard desktop site. And in the same vein, it is no longer enough (if it ever was) to simply present a compressed version of your desktop site to mobile users. The planning, design and optimisation of your mobile-friendly site requires careful thought and nowhere is this more important than on your checkout and payment pages. Here’s what you need to know.

First, a word about devices

Buyer journeys are increasingly multi-channel. Consumers want to access your site at the time and on the device that suits them – this could be the faithful desktop PC, a standard smartphone, one of the new generation of larger-screen smartphones, or a tablet. With this in mind, you begin to understand why an optimised mobile website that takes advantage of adaptive design (where the site detects which device is being used and generates a page matched to the device’s capabilities) or responsive design (which creates a single version of a website that auto-adjusts to display properly on most devices) technologies is so important. If a potential customer visits your site and it has lacklustre mobile performance, it’s likely they won’t make it past your home page – they’ll just head elsewhere.

Assuming that you’ve begun your mobile optimisation strategy, what can you do to make sure customers don’t check-out at the critical payment stage?

Design and navigation

● Design for touches and swipes and allow customers to navigate your site using these native actions.

● Buttons should be large enough to eliminate ‘fat-finger’ typos. Flat design emphasises usability while large, high-contrast fonts leave no doubt over the button’s purpose.

● Touchable elements – buttons, form fields, sliders and so on – should be spaced apart to prevent incorrect selection.

● Don’t make your customers pinch, zoom or scroll to find the information they need. It’s irritating – a feeling you don’t really want to evoke at the point of purchase.


● Keep text on the page short and to the point – your checkout page is not the place for convoluted marketing messages. You can link to content such as shipping information, returns policies and so on.

● Think about removing distractions ─ social media buttons, navigation elements, calls to action (sign up for our newsletter, for example) draw customer attention away from the most important process – completing their purchase.

● The image of two companies’ mobile checkout screens on the left says it all. It’s so important in m-commerce to include only vital fields. Pare data entry back to the bare minimum – your customers will thank you for it.

Payment and security

● Make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you. Don’t make them enter more information than they need to, and ensure that when they touch a field it reacts appropriately. For example, text entry fields should obviously present the user with the keyboard when touched, while card data entry fields should provide the numerical pad.

● Make sure your page loads quickly and accurately. There is no bigger turn-off for online shoppers than having to wait for content to generate before they can move forward with their purchase.

● Consider implementing one-click payments using tokenisation or card store. This allows you to ‘save’ customer payment information and eliminates the need for returning customers to enter their card details every time they shop with you – a better experience all round.

● More payment options mean more sales. According to research, by 2017 alternative payment methods will represent more shopper spend online than credit or debit cards. PayPal and digital wallets such as MasterPass from MasterCard and Visa’s offer an alternative to credit cards and minimise the data entry required by customers. Many alternative payment methods simply require a username/email address and password to be entered. Alternative payments appeal to customers who either do not have a credit card (such as under 18s) or do have one but prefer not to use it online.

● Provide your customer with reassurances about your mobile site’s security. Make sure your security certificates are on display and use security-conscious language in page copy. Partnering with a payment services provider for mobile-optimised payment processing will ensure your mobile checkout process is as secure as possible.