7 best practices for better mobile commerce UX

While the number of mobile users is increasing exponentially, the population of mobile shoppers is also advancing at the same rate. According to eMarketer, mobilecommerce is projected to make around $3.5 trillion by the end of 2021. It is practically three-quarters of the total eCommerce sales on all channels.

Image and information source: Statista

Mobile commerce is rising, and it will continue to do so with a more rapid speed in the future. Mobile apps, being more accessible than a ported or responsive mobile site, are enticing more and more eCommerce businesses towards them. In fact, a majority of the eCommerce start-ups these days could be seen with App-only model alone. Additionally, all those who have been operating with websites or responsive mobile sites till date are also extending their reach to the smartphones.

We have put together this article to assist such businesses in developing a perfect mobile commerce app for their business. This guide will explain 7 eCommerce mobile app best practices, specifically for the user experience part.

Key aspects of mobile eCommerce UX optimization

For any eCommerce mobile app UX optimization, all that we do is for optimizing the application on the following five aspects only.

  1. Easy communication channel- Offer an easy way for users to connect with you. E.g. Live chat, email.
  2. Accessibility for all- let every human being use your app with the same efficiency. E.g. One-handed use.
  3. Minimize Typing as much possible- Users hate typing on those small mobile keyboards. E.g. Auto-fill
  4. Hide unimportant details- Mobile screens are unsuitable to show everything that is shown on the website version. 
  5. Don’t Hide what’s Important- Don’t go for extreme hiding. Show everything that is important.

Mobile eCommerce best practices to improve the user experience

1. Design a clear home page

Homepage is the first touchpoint for users to land on your mobile app. Make this first impression as prospective as possible. The best way to do this is avoiding too many recommendations and let users decide what they want to do next. So do the following-

  • Showcase featured categories above the fold such as– Bestsellers, Shop by Gender, Shop by Category, Shop by utility, and Shop by Brand.
  • Use thumbnail images with label text for each category. Avoid text only listing.
  • Designate a separate space for discount based listing such as products with 80% discount, 50% discount, free shipping, and Combo offers.
  • Allocate a space for shortcuts to ongoing Flash sale product listing.

In this way, you can guide your mobile commerce prospects into your conversion funnel without being too promotional or intrusive.

2. Use unambiguous CTA on correctly-sized buttons

Shopping experience on those small-sized mobile screens is way different than what we see on the website version of your web-shop. The button and call-to-action should be utilized more cautiously considering the scarcity of space on a particular fold of mobile screen. Apply the following best practices to best utilize the “buttons” and “CTAs” on mobile commerce apps –

  • Keep the CTA clear without any confusion of what it does. A user must comprehend the outcomes by just reading the CTA of a button.
  • Instead of simple text like Next, Continue, Go Ahead, use clear and descriptive CTAs like “Continue to checkout’ “Add to cart”, “Click to Buy Now” etc.
  • Complement the text with self-explanatory icons.  For example, a ‘lock” icon on the “Continue to checkout” button will accentuate a logic of safety to the shoppers. 

3. Use Social login and Guest Checkout

Users hate typing on small touchscreens. It gets worse if mobile apps ask them to create a user account for completing a purchase. 37% of your potential customers will abandon your shopping cart if you ask them to create an account. Instead, try the following two approaches to make the UX more acceptable by all your users-

  • Offer Social Login– Let users sign up using their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media account. By doing so, you won’t have to ask them to fill up a long account registration form, and you will get the user’s information at the same time.
  • Guest Checkout-Allow users to complete a checkout process using guest checkout. You can ask communication details like Name, Email, and Contact number for product delivery purpose. In fact, there are ways to use this information to automatically create a user account post completion of the purchase.
Guest Checkout

4. Auto-form filling

To avoid more typing requirements, utilize auto form filling for the details you already know. For example, no need to ask for Name, Contact number, or Email address in the checkout process if you already know these from the user account or the previous shopping history. There many other opportunities as well for auto-filling –

  • Auto-fill default delivery address from shopping history.
    • Auto-fill City, Region, and country using filled Zip-code.
    • Autofill credit card details using saved card history.
Auto-form filling

5. Avoid placeholder-only approach

Many mobile app designers rely on placeholders in place of labels to explain the fields in a form. They do it for saving the space on the screen. However, Placeholders and Labels are two different HTML tags, which have different usage. They should not be interchanged.

For example, to save some space, you may want to use placeholders to label the fields, but this would only confuse the users while filling lengthy forms as placeholder will get vanished once typed-in. Users won’t remember the label in case they wish to review the form post filling it.

Avoid placeholder-only approach

Alternatively, you can also use ‘Floating labels’ that move to the top of the field once users tap to start typing. Something like in this form-

Avoid placeholder-only approach

6. Demonstrate security

Whether it is a mobile app or a web-shop, security is the biggest concern when it comes to making online transactions. About 19% of shoppers will abandon your shopping cart if they don’t trust your app for the security of their credit card transactions. Apply following practices to avoid any such conduct and boost user experience-

  • Apply SSL encryption and showcase the same on the checkout page.
  • Display help or contact us details on the checkout page.
  • Display previous customers’ reviews on the product page.
  • Apply and display the seal of trust for measures you have taken on the app.

Here are few seals of trust that consumers rely on while shopping online –

Demonstrate security

7. Make shipping options clear

60% shoppers do not shop from a site which surprises customers with hidden costs. The hidden cost could be anything from shipping, tax or service fee. If you are charging extra for shipping, just mention it on the product page itself. In fact, mention all shipping options with their cost. Hidden costs being revealed at the payment is the worst thing you can do with your eCommerce business. It is better to reveal all other costs at the mobile app shopping cart review page itself.

Make shipping options clear

To summarize

User experience optimization is not a seven-step solution. It is continuous and trends keep changing. You can adopt numerous such methods to make your mobile app experience as seamless as possible. Few of the other methods you can adopt in addition to the above are-

  • Dynamic form validation to avoid frustration happening post submission of the form.
  • Product image zoom to let users browse the product in an HD resolution. 
  • Search interface with multiple filters and sorting options like sort by price, filter by brand, size, availability, color, specifications etc.
  • A/B testing before applying any modification.
  • Heatmap tracking to comprehend users’ browsing behavior, then applying corresponding modifications to fit the users’ browsing pattern.
  • Offering as many payment options like Net banking, card payment, wallet payment etc.
  • Allowing users to subscribe for stock alerts for out-of-stock products.
  • Allowing users to subscribe for price drop alerts. And many more.

I hope these Mobile eCommerce best practices would help you to develop a progressive user experience on your m-commerce app. Don’t forget to share your own ideas with our readers. We would love to hear your thoughts. 

Jessica BruceTechnology
While the number of mobile users is increasing exponentially, the population of mobile shoppers is also advancing at the same rate. According to eMarketer, mobilecommerce is projected to make around $3.5 trillion by the end of 2021. It is practically three-quarters of the total eCommerce sales on all channels....