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9 Ways You Can Create A Hassle Free Mobile Checkout Process

9 Ways You Can Create A Hassle Free Mobile Checkout Process

9 MIN READ

Creating a hassle-free mobile checkout process is a guaranteed way to convert more users and boost sales as numbers of mobile shoppers continue to increase. 

Some retailers are still not seeing mobile as an integral part of their eCommerce strategy, but it’s hard to deny the facts when it comes to the growing popularity of mobile shopping. With BrizFeel citing that 49% of consumers are using their smartphones for shopping, retailers need to sit up and pay attention to the world of mobile eCommerce. 

Typically, you probably see lower traffic from mobile users, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an essential segment of your customer base. You still need to appeal to them and cater to their needs with an accessible and functional mobile shopping experience.

The substantial increase in eCommerce sales over the past few years is no surprise with Statista forecasting that it will account for 17.5% of all retail sales by 2021. The growth rate has been steady and undeniable from 7.4% in 2015, 10% in 2017 and 11.8% in 2018. This is telling of the importance of investing in a great website, but also one that is mobile responsive. Research by CBRE further predicts that mCommerce sales will account for over half of all eCommerce transactions by 2021. It’s an area that will pay to invest in. It will distinguish your offering from your competitors and create the best experience possible for your users. 

Of course, getting the entire mobile shopping experience is essential, but by paying extra attention to the point of conversion – the checkout process – is going to be key in driving sales.

 

With that, let’s explore the ways you can create a hassle-free mobile checkout process…

Speedy page loading times 

 

Having a super-fast website is hugely important to making sure visitors stick around once they click onto your site. High speed helps enable a smoother purchasing journey as users navigate your site with ease and little to no delays. In fact, Kissmetrics found that a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. 

Test your site on mobile and investigate what could be slowing it down; consider image sizes, third party scripts like social media, and plugins. It’s also worth stress testing your website (across all devices) to see how it handles traffic at peak times.

Use progress bars 

 

 

Allowing users to see where they are in the mobile checkout process is a great way to manage expectations by tracking how much of their time it’s going to take up. This is especially important to consider for mobile users; the likelihood is they’ll be using mobile to purchase as it’s an easy and accessible means to do so. Consider using a highlight to indicate where they are in the process.

Baymard’s eye-tracking research reveals that some users look to the content body instead of a progress bar in the header to determine which step in the checkout they’re on. Use an accordion design to collapse the steps that are positioned in the central part of the screen. Accordion layouts are easy to navigate and still allow users to see where they’re up to in the checkout process.

Consider people using multiple devices 

 

Keep in mind that people access websites in different ways, at different times, on different devices. Align your channels for a more consistent experience. Users should be able to add items to their basket on mobile and pick them up later on a desktop. Logging on to a different device to find items are no longer there creates a fragmented mobile checkout experience. Shoppers want convenient and quick experiences and will begrudge going through the shopping process again, leading to a lower chance of a conversion. 

Make cross-device transition as easy and seamless as possible for your customers; it’ll be extremely beneficial to your conversions.

Viewing product details in the cart 

Shopping carts should be clearly displayed and accessible from any page while the customer is shopping. Displaying it at the top of the screen is a popular option with an indication of how many items are in it using a badge notification.

In the cart, core product specifications should be visible and easy to edit in terms of colour, size, model or quantity. Any changes should be auto-updated in real-time, to save users having to click ‘update’ basket which can lead to increased mobile checkout errors. Can items be deleted easily? Make sure you have the option to remove/delete rather than just changing the quantity to 0. 

Include information like shipping costs here too so there are no surprises at the end of the process which can, and often does, leads to dropouts.

Cart as a comparison tool 

 

Baymard research tells us that many shoppers will use their cart as a comparison tool to compare items before deciding what they actually want to buy. 

Browsing through a website, especially on a mobile device, often doesn’t support this (unless there is a dedicated function) so flicking between items and colours, sizes or bundles etc pages can become quite a jarring experience. 

Carts provide a place where users can store up items they’re considering purchasing. Being able to do this will increase the opportunity for conversion. 

 

There are a few ways you can support this functionality; 

 

  • Large thumbnails for easier visual comparison
  • Display the main product details (size, colour, model, quantities)
  • Easy removal of items
  • Easy to edit product details

Allow guest checkout

 

Guest checkouts are a great addition for all eCommerce sites and are especially useful on mobile. It caters for the time-strapped, those who want a quick purchase (without having to sign up or sign in), and also those who may have forgotten their passwords. I think like most people, the majority of my passwords are kept on my desktop browser, so when shopping on mobile, I often can’t remember them. Being able to checkout as a guest is far easier than going through fiddly resetting processes! 

Make sure the ‘Guest Checkout’ option stands out on the checkout page, using a bold colour and prominent position.

User-friendly forms 

 

Poorly designed forms are extremely disruptive to the overall flow of the mobile checkout process and can stop users from completing their orders. Ideally, forms and form fields need to be kept as simple and efficient as possible to guarantee conversions and seamless experience. 

Align text boxes vertically with the label displayed above the field, avoiding a horizontal layout to cause less confusion and go with the natural flow of scrolling that people are used to when using a mobile device. Due to the nature of a small mobile screen, users shouldn’t be able to see other things on the page that would be a distraction or lead to confusion during the checkout process.

It’s a good idea to treat each field as an individual task, highlighting or zooming into the one they’re currently on, automatically moving on to the next once completed.

Some things to keep in mind when thinking about the form fields in your mobile checkout process: 

 

  • Keep the look and feel of the form in line with your brand, and branding, of the site. Forms that deviate from this will appear out of place, creating a sense of distrust, inevitably leading to drop-offs.

 

  • When it comes to inputting data, make sure that the right keyboard pops up, ie. text for names and cities, numerical for phone numbers and building numbers. 

 

  • For registered users, this information should auto-populate; save their favourite or regular addresses including default shipping and billing address options. 

 

  • If you require information that may seem unnecessary to some people, like a phone number, for example, make sure you let them know why you’re asking for it. “Enter your phone number to receive delivery updates.” 

 

  • Postcode lookup is a convenient way to save time for your users and minimise errors from clumsy thumbs. There’s naturally poorer navigation on mobile, thumbs are bigger and less precise than a cursor. Make sure Call To Actions are large enough for users to action simply, reducing errors and frustrations of clicking on the wrong thing. 

 

  • Display actual day names on dates. Someone may only be at home on Wednesdays in the week and need to know quickly which date that falls on, rather than slowing down the process while they sit and work this out.  

 

  • Mark optional and required fields correctly and clearly. If a user does make an error here, display a relevant error message; what is the error, and what is needed to correct it? 

 

  • When an error does occur, the process to rectify it needs to be easy. If a user enters incorrect information, make sure that the form fields remain populated with their previous data input so they don’t have to fill out everything all over again. 

 

  • Does the location determine delivery options? You can use these to reflect delivery timescales and also local click and collect or instore collection availability.

Don’t forget about security on mobile 

 

People are naturally more conscious of security issues and what personal data they’re sharing when using a mobile device. Use security and verified badges to promote a sense of trust. The more recognisable the logo, the more a customer will be comfortable with the purchase. But remember, not all security badges are equal – using less recognisable badges actually goes the other way and can cause checkout abandonment if verified by an unrecognisable logo.

Payments on mobile checkouts 

 

The number of payment options is growing and it’s something retailers need to consider carefully. When considering mobile checkouts, there are mobile specific payment options you will want to consider like mobile wallets and fingerprint confirmation for things like Apple Pay which speeds up the process for the shoppers. Amazon’s 1-click checkout is a great addition for registered users who are prone to making repeat purchases. 

 

Consider the following points for your mobile checkout: 

 

  • Auto apply discount codes to encourage conversion and save customers the time on copy and pasting or inputting more data into yet another text box. 

 

  • Display the most popular payment methods as the first options with the others to be selected from a dropdown.

 

  • Display all costs including delivery charges so there are no surprises when it comes to paying. Be sure to provide a breakdown of costs, not just one lump sum!

 

  • Mirror the formatting of the expiry date fields on a credit or debit card, using 2 digit formatting and avoid using lettered months.

 

  • Provide clear payment and order confirmation once they’ve completed the checkout. Include all details on the page and in a confirmation email. 

 

  • Reduce the anxiety of what the next steps are for your customers after placing an order by including links to customer service, how to track their delivery or where you can be found on social media. This gives a sense of trust and digital presence they can turn to if anything was to go awry. 

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Charlotte McKee
12th November 2019

Turning Showroomers Into Shoppers: Converting Your Bricks & Mortar Visits

Turning Showroomers Into Shoppers: Converting Your Bricks & Mortar Visits

Showrooming: the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price.

– Oxford Dictionary

Showrooming is not a new phenomenon, it’s been a hot topic amongst retailers for years. Driven by our desire to touch and see items in real life before committing to buying them, it’s an essential part of the customer buying journey – especially when it comes to high-ticket items. So why do so few retailers have a solid strategy in place to convert showroomers into shoppers? With increasingly regular news articles about the death of the high street and the rising cost of running bricks-and-mortar stores, isn’t it time that retailers upped their game and stopped running showrooms for their competitors?

A recent Salesforce study found that 71% of shoppers use their mobile while in-store. What’s more, 36% of these shoppers use their phones to compare prices. This means that potential customers are likely to be looking at your competitor’s website(s) while in your store.

So how can store owners better meet the needs of today’s mobile-assisted visitors? Here are 7 ways to turn showroomers into shoppers.

1. Give shoppers easy access to product information

 

Offer Free WiFi: It may seem counterintuitive but offering complimentary WiFi in your store can actually help with conversions. Not all potential customers who use their mobiles in-store are looking for the cheapest deal. Many will want to read customer reviews or find out about how the product works to make sure that it meets their requirements. If they can’t get any reception or WiFi, they may feel as though they don’t have all the information needed to make their buying decision. If they need to leave the store to complete further research online, there’s a chance that they may not return.

Provide Detailed Signage: For high ticket and bestselling items, make sure that you’re displaying detailed signage. Many shoppers will use their mobiles to check things like dimensions, assembly instructions and available colours. Save them a job by providing key information alongside product displays e.g. if you’re selling suitcases, provide shoppers with baggage restrictions for the most popular airlines so they don’t need to search for them online.

Invest In Employee Training: Make sure that all shop floor staff are passionate and knowledgeable about the products they’re selling. Hold regular training sessions for staff. Provide product demonstrations where applicable, and explain the features and benefits of using/ owning the product. Make sure that they know who the product is and isn’t suitable for, which other products complement it, and what previous customers have thought of the product.

Use Mobile To Your Advantage: No matter how knowledgeable your staff, some customers may just want to complete their own research. To prevent customers from visiting competitors’ sites, provide easy access to product information on your own site. One way of doing this might be to display QR codes linking to your own product detail pages on shelf edges or swing tickets. Make sure that your website is optimised for mobile, that your product pages are detailed and that they are displaying customer reviews.

2. Be competitive on price

Price Match: As mentioned, many shoppers are going online to compare prices so give them an offer they can’t refuse – offer to price match. This way they will know they are getting the best deal out there but you won’t be devaluing your brand.

Use SMS: Not only do shoppers go online to check out competitors prices, they also check if they’ve got any offers and promotions. Before they get the chance to do this, use beacons to send out special offers to customers when they enter the store. When they pull out their phone, they’ll see the offer from you and may be less likely to go online to check if there are other offers out there.

Payment plans: Although finance and payment plans don’t reduce the end cost to the customer, they do often make high ticket products more affordable.

Prevent shoppers from completing their research and running by giving them a reason to make their purchase there and then.

3. Create a sense of urgency

 Time-sensitive offers: Prevent shoppers from completing their research and running by giving them a reason to make their purchase there and then. This could be as simple as offering time-sensitive special offers that are only available in-store or running double loyalty points days.

 Remove any fear of commitment: Offer a deposit scheme so that customers don’t feel as though they’ve been rushed into a decision but can still take advantage of special prices. Making shoppers aware of your returns policy will also take away their fear of commitment.

Don’t make customers wait: In busy periods, provide sales assistants with iPads so that they can take payments from the shop floor – this will prevent shoppers from changing their mind as they’re queuing at the till.

4. Be the most convenient option

Home delivery: Many shoppers will choose to browse in-store but buy online so that they can get products delivered to their home address. If you sell large or heavy items make sure that you’re offering home delivery if a customer wants to make their purchase in-store.

Payment options: Give customers as much choice as possible when it comes to payments. Allow customers to apply for finance in-store and give them the option to pay with alternative payment methods such as bank transfers, e-vouchers and contactless mobile payments.

Out of stock items: Offer to transfer out-of-stock or custom made items in to store or have them delivered to the customer’s home address.

In-store kiosks: To prevent customers from becoming frustrated by having to wait in long queues at the till provide in-store kiosks that allow customers to place home delivery orders themselves.

Speak to brands about whether there is a possibility for you to collaborate on an exclusive line of products that no other retailers will stock.

5. Have an exclusive offering

Exclusive products and free gifts: For competitive ranges, make sure that you are offering something that no other retailer can.

Speak to brands about whether there is a possibility for you to collaborate on an exclusive line of products that no other retailers will stock.

Request samples that you can give out as free gifts when a customer makes a high-value purchase. For example, Clinique and other beauty brands, provide department stores with sample sets that they can give out to customers with the purchase of 2 or more items. This works for the store as it gives the customer a reason to buy from them over their competitors. It works for the brand as the customer will try out new products which hopefully they will go on to purchase in the future.

6. Go the extra mile

 

Demos: Shopping in-store should be a memorable experience – you should aim to add value that an online store can’t. If you sell beauty products, offer to give your customers a complimentary makeover where you can demonstrate how to use the products you are selling. If you sell cooking equipment, have sales assistants cook up tasty samples while shoppers watch.

Style advice: If your products have aesthetic value, offer shoppers complimentary style advice. For example, if you sell homeware, train your staff up as interior design experts so that they can help customers to select which colour scheme to go for.

Many clothing stores, such as The Dressing Room, offer a personal shopping service where an experienced style advisor will help customers to find clothing and accessories for a specific occasion. This not only makes the customer feel confident with the purchase but it adds unique and personalised value that they won’t be able to get online.

Workshops & training: If you sell products such as mobile phones or laptops, offer in-store workshops or training sessions to help your customers get the most out of their purchase.

Home installation: Offering to set up the customers purchase in their own home could be a real selling point for some customers. For example, when John Lewis sell a washing machine, they offer to disconnect and dispose of the old one. Then connect, test and demo the new machine. If you’re able to offer anything similar for your product ranges, make sure that your sales staff are letting every customer know.

7. Make sure you have the stock

Another common reason why shoppers use their mobiles in-store is to find a product when their size or colour preference isn’t available on the shelf. As some shoppers might not want or have the time to ask an assistant to check the stock room, make sure that you’re regularly printing off lists of sold items to replenish the shop floor.

For bestselling items, make sure that you always have a minimum level of stock available in store. Venditan Commerce has an automatic internal shipping request function that will alert the warehouse to transfer stock to a branch if stock for an item falls below a predetermined minimum level.

Once you’ve converted your in-store customers, don’t forget to collect their email address at the till so that you are able to create a full picture of your customer’s behaviour and preferences across all channels.

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Stephanie Fenton
7th November 2019

The Rewards of Cloud Hosting For Your eCommerce Website

The Rewards of Cloud Hosting For Your eCommerce Website

5 MIN READ

It’s a highly competitive market out there for retailers and to keep up, you need to make sure you’re providing the best customer experience possible. This means taking steps to ensure your website is secure, super-fast, can grow with your business and accessible at all times. Getting the right infrastructure for your business is key – and cloud hosting for your eCommerce site is the way to do this. 

 

Cloud hosting is increasingly becoming considered a staple. For retailers not adopting cloud technologies, they’re missing out on a variety of benefits that their competitors could well be reaping. According to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit,  70% of experts expect the cloud to be a major factor in the retail industry by 2020. So, if you’re not already, now is the time to consider cloud hosting for your retail business. 

 

It’s an exciting time for retailers with the inception of a variety of technologies helping to grow businesses, engage customers in ways like never before, boost brand positioning and support infrastructures – just to name a few. Cloud hosting is one of these technologies that are pushing retailers forward during this transformative time for the industry. 

 

Consumer demands and behaviours are influencing how retailers approach their strategies and business decisions like never before. The rise of social media, online reviews and growing competition mean that retailers are having to sit up and take notice, implementing changes to match customer trends and buying habits. Cloud hosting for eCommerce is empowering retailers to embrace such changes and positively impact their businesses. Once the forte of large retail chains, recent developments in cloud technology has made the cloud more accessible to smaller independent businesses.

 

Let’s take a deeper look into why cloud hosting is the right choice for your eCommerce site by exploring the benefits…

Scale and grow with cloud hosting

 

Is there anything more annoying for consumers trying to reach a website during peak times like sales events or seasonal periods and not being able to do so? It’s not only a rubbish customer experience but it affects your sales and profits, not to mention consumer confidence in your brand. You don’t want to be associated with having a poor website – things like that make a lasting impression on consumers, and you don’t want to be known as that retailer. 

Super-fast websites   

 

With a quick Google search, you’ll find a deluge of resources on how cloud technology will speed up your website. However, it’s important to note that cloud hosting isn’t intrinsically linked to website speed. It does, however, give you the possibilities to use powerful technologies like Kubernetes that can help you manage higher volumes of traffic through clever orchestration on the back end.

 

With consumer expectations higher than ever,  people don’t want to wait around for website pages to load – there are plenty more options out there for discerning shoppers. According to a report from Unbounce, 70% of consumers are less likely to buy from a retailer due to poor website speed. A large portion of 36% said they’re less likely to return to the website, and a further 11.9% stated they’d even be likely to tell a friend about the poor experience. These statistics highlight just how important it is to get the right supporting infrastructure to support your website. 

 

Cloud hosting offers optimal security 

 

Data has been bandied around for years now as being ‘the new oil’, the holy grail of this that and the other – and despite the hype, the importance of data is undeniable. All businesses now rely on reams of data, from supporting business processes, marketing and personalisation, to growth opportunities – the answers often lie in the data. In the future, what will distinguish your business from your competitors, is how innovative you are with your data. 

 

But, what do you do when that data becomes compromised? It’s a nightmare for any business and retailers handling large amounts of sensitive customer data need to be taking the steps to secure it as best they can. Cloud hosting is an effective way to do this, requiring less human resources and monitoring. This also results in lower costs than running in house hosting operations.

Offer personalised experiences 

 

People are wanting more personalised experiences when shopping and cloud hosting is allowing retailers to really embrace this shift in marketing and customer experience. With cloud hosting for your eCommerce site, it is easier to offer enhanced omnichannel experiences;  marketing campaigns that link together across all channels.

 

 For example, you could send out targeted ‘add-on’ purchase emails following an in-store visit. You can also use enhanced points and loyalty for members using their purchase data; extra points on their favourite items, or rewarding their buying habits. Your customers will love these personal touches, and cloud makes this easier, simplifying the connections between the required systems – allowing you to focus on running your business and innovate faster.

Seamless business processes with cloud hosting

 

There are an incredible amount of benefits for business processes with cloud hosting in eCommerce. You can log in from anywhere, on any device, at any time and update orders and stock, check your sales – managing your entire operation remotely. This is a far cry from the days of managing all of this through a legacy back-office system; if you are – it’s definitely time to consider moving away from this restrictive view of your retail operations. 

 

Cloud hosting also allows customer data to automatically be uploaded to the cloud when buying. The customer data and transactional data are updated centrally in real-time – this allows for accounts and reporting teams access to these as and when they’re needed day-to-day. 

 

The data on stock and sales are also uploaded to the cloud, this can automatically notify warehouses for replenishment stock to be sent to stores following purchases. By implementing a better internal system, the improvements will benefit employees and in turn, the business as a whole. 

Conclusion 

 

As you can see, there are so many reasons why cloud hosting is crucial for your eCommerce site. By implementing cloud hosting with a trusted and reputable provider, you’re bound to see the benefits in terms of costs, profits, security, and efficient processes. 

If you’d like to find out more about how cloud hosting will help you keep up with your competitors and benefit your business, get in touch with the Venditan team! 

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Charlotte McKee

5th November 2019