Mobile Payments And Our Multi-Channel World

User experience (UX) is key if you want to optimise the potential of your mobile checkout. In a multi-channel world consumers want to browse and make purchases on whatever device is convenient for them. Smartphones, tablets, wearables and even the humble laptop vary enormously with many customers  using multiple devices to make purchases. Therefore your online store needs to maximise the potential for sales across all devices. An  excellent UX design will deliver exactly what your customers need to make the sale process and frictionless as possible increasing conversion rates.

mCommerce is very much on the increase – with visits to ecommerce sites via smartphone or tablet devices accounting for 45% of all ecommerce traffic in the UK* – an Ampersand report Mobile Retail Report: 2015 UK Edition, shows that many of these consumers are failing to convert.

Mobile devices are being used for research, but not necessarily for making that purchase.

How To Convert Customers On Mobile Devices

While getting your customers to click ‘buy’ on their mobile device is a clear objective for any online retailer, let’s not forget our multi-channel opportunities and consider a broader approach to mCommerce.

Online mobile users are not always focussed on the end goal of making a purchase; in fact the customer journey on a mobile device is very different to any traditional buying cycles. For more on mobile shopping cycles read this article from the Harvard Business Review.

Here are some key mobile opportunities that online retailers can embrace to help convert customers, whether that purchase happens on a mobile device, in store, or on a PC/laptop.

Location and Store Opening Times: The Ampersand report found that 54% of UK smartphone users used their mobile to look up store information such as location and opening times.

Is this information easy to find on your mobile site?

Using technology such as geo-location – targeting users with specific information based on the location of their mobile device – can enhance the user experience and ensure potential customers find these details easily.

Shopping Baskets: Persistent shopping baskets are another feature that can increase conversion. This is a feature that remembers what is in the customers basket even if they leave your website. Many customers are using mobile devices for researching products and then finalising the purchase on their home computer. A persistent shopping basket ensures that products remain in their basket whatever device they are using.

Similarly wish lists or saved shopping lists are functions that allow shoppers to complete their purchases at a more convenient time or on a different device.

Store-Specific Stock Information: Another way consumers are using their mobile devices is to search for product availability in a specific shop. The Ampersand report found that 20% of smartphone owners use this feature if it’s available.

It is important to recognise that consumers use smartphones and tablets in a very different way to how they use a conventional desktop PC or laptop. By its very nature mobile use is ‘on the go’, often in short bursts, in situations where interruption is likely. Therefore the end goal of making a purchase using a mobile device is not always feasible, and features like persistent shopping baskets come into their own.

However, as smart phone and tablet use increases exponentially, and mobile devices are replacing the home or work computer in some cases, eCommerce sites must be optimised for taking mobile payments.

Checklist For Your Mobile Checkout

The list below outlines the key features of highly convertible mobile payment pages. Does your website tick all these boxes?

Adaptive Design: Responsive design resizes your website to fit the device it’s being viewed on, but adaptive design goes a step further.  Adaptive design matches the device’s capabilities so that users can deploy all their mobile device’s functionality on your site.

Navigation: The mobile version of your website needs to recognise that the customer journey is different than on desktop PC. It is essential that navigation buttons are clearly signposted so that customers know what to do – both to fill their shopping baskets and to make their purchases. This means no ‘pinching’, zooming or scrolling to find and use the relevant button, which should be large enough to use easily without the risk of an incorrect entry or clicking on the wrong button.

Concise and Clear Text: Customers will struggle to read large amounts of text on a smartphone, so even product descriptions need to be kept to the minimum. An option to expand the text and zoom into a photo is a good way to get around this issue, providing more detail for those who want it whilst focusing the default text on the end result – a sale. Links to other information such as Terms and Conditions, Delivery and Returns can be included without occupying too much space.

Security: One of the key challenges for online retailers is to give their mobile customers confidence in their security. Prominently displayed security certification can do this, and increasingly customers are looking for this reassurance.

Payments: ‘One click’ options for returning customers builds loyalty, and a speedier checkout process – good news for both retailer and consumer. Alternative payments such as digital wallets, PayPal, Apple Pay etc. also increase conversion, as customers do not need to key in lengthy payment card information on their mobile device.

Speedy Mobile Websites: Mobile sites need to be fast to keep customers from going elsewhere. Product pages should upload quickly and product images should be optimised for mobile devices; use caching for images and scripts to further speed up loading times. It goes without saying that your payments page should also upload quickly and data entry should be kept to the minimum to ensure that transactions are completed.

MCommerce has huge potential for retailers, but a multi-channel approach is needed if you don’t want to miss opportunities for sales. As customers become more confident in making mobile purchases, and increasingly their preferred device becomes a smartphone or tablet, a smooth payment process is essential. Use the tips above to ensure you’re optimising yours.

* IMRG Quarterly Benchmarking Report