Article

Chris Boaz
Chris Boaz 23 August 2017

5 questions all Mcommerce retailers should ask themselves

What keeps shoppers online, and what causes them to abandon at checkout? Here are 5 questions all retailers should ask themselves to ensure their web forms are optimised for mobile shoppers.

Mobile usage has increasingly become part of the consumer lifestyle - from banking or shopping to connecting with friends and family. In 2016, an estimated 177.4 million people used their mobile devices to research, browse and shop online, according to Statista. This figure is predicted to reach almost 200 million by 2018.

With such a significant increase in mobile usage, there is a parallel increase in customer expectation. Online retailers who haven’t optimised the mobile experience for their customers may lose out on this growing audience and, more consequently, sales that will have an effect on the future of their overall business performance.

So what keeps shoppers online, and what causes them to abandon at checkout?

Here are 5 questions all retailers should ask themselves to ensure their web forms are optimised for mobile shoppers.

1. Are you launching the appropriate keyboard?

One of the most important things to consider when optimising forms for mobile is making sure to include the correct attributes in the HTML code to get the most appropriate keyboard for the context of the input format. Make sure that the field is tagged properly to present a numeric keyboard when phone number data is required, and an alphabetic keyboard for when address data is required. This reduces cognitive load and makes the process of entering information smoother.

2. Have you implemented a smart address validation tool?

Technology has made consumers impatient - they expect quick and convenient processes. However, completing online forms can be very time consuming for time-poor customers.

According to Baymard Institute, almost a third of those who abandon their cart do so because of a long or complicated checkout process. On top of this, Mobile Commerce Daily recently found that 47% abandon mCommerce purchases because the checkout process is too long.

One effective way to drastically reduce time and effort in the checkout is by implementing a smart address validation tool. This allows the shopper to search any part of an address and predict the address they are searching for by suggesting accurate matches, even when typos are entered. This helps keep customers focused on completing the checkout process and speeds up the process, preventing frustration or cart abandonment.

3. Have you optimised your checkout form for mobile?

We have all experienced trying to purchase online only to realise that the checkout form was not optimised for mobile. This leads to problems like not being able to view the entire form or, worse, not being able to enter the information required.

As mcommerce will continue to significantly increase and may become the preferred means of shopping in the near future, retailers need to make sure they are addressing this issue by automatically resizing form fields and buttons for mobile screen sizes.

Consumers frequently research and purchase on different devices. As such, they expect to have the same customer experience whether shopping via mobile or desktop. Using a single-line address search field will help facilitate searching for an address, and provides added benefits such as decreasing the number of  fields on your address form. The user will find the form simpler and less intimidating as a result.

4. Are you using  top aligned fields and labels?

Smartphones have significantly less real estate compared to desktops, so it’s imperative if you don’t have a responsive checkout that you design a form that minimizes this constraint. One way to do this by using vertical alignment for the field labels on your form. When users click on an input field, the page is often automatically zoomed in to focus on the field. If side-by- side labels are used, it’s almost impossible to view both label and input field in one screen without additional effort from the user.

5. Can users visualise progress status of their checkout?

Customers want to be in control of their time. Retailers should ensure customers can track the checkout process to see what they have completed and how much longer the process will take. This enables retailers to improve any  customer frustrations, and allows customers to be aware of the next step in the checkout process such as when they need to get their payment details or gift vouchers ready to enter.

With more and more consumers shopping via smartphone and competition increasingly fierce in the mcommerce space, retailers can not afford to make any missteps in catering to increasingly demanding customers. However, with the kinds of key improvements outlined here, the opportunity for mcommerce retailers to reap rewards is huge.

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