Mobile Commerce Best Practices

There is a reason why brands are investing more and more time and energy into setting up efficient online stores. The popularity of eCommerce is soaring, and the online shopping business in the USA is growing 3X faster than the offline segment.

Professionals expect worldwide retail eCommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion by 2021, and only grow from there. By 2040, 95% of shopping experiences will take place online.

While eCommerce is growing, so is the functionality of online commerce tech and competition from other brands.

If you want to stay ahead in the rapid-paced online commerce world, you must keep up with eCommerce best practices and provide a top-notch customer shopping experience.

One surefire way to do this is to optimize your website, not only for desktop purchases but for smooth mobile shopping experiences as well. 

This article will offer seven mobile commerce best practices that will help you create a stellar mobile shopping experience for your customers.

1. Optimize your app for mobile navigation by categorizing your products

Increasing your mobile sales all comes down to how you organize your mobile shopping experience.

Your customers only have 6 inches by 2 inches of screen space to understand what products you are offering, so you have to be smart about your user design. This is especially critical if you sell hundreds of products.

You can make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for by dividing your products into categories. I like the following example from Sephora’s mobile-friendly site.

sephora mobile friendly website

As you know, Sephora carries hundreds of products. Thankfully, they make it easy to find what you are looking for with the use of categories and thumbnails. Consumers can quickly scan these 12 different thumbnails, locate what they are looking for, and click on the most relevant thumbnail. 

The Sephora shopping app will then redirect shoppers to another easy-to-navigate menu to fine-tune results.

filters on sephora mobile shopping website

The Sephora shopping experience remains clear-cut and organized throughout the entire process, making it possible for make-up and skincare lovers to locate products in just a few clicks of a button.

2. Create a positive in-app search experience

Sometimes customers know exactly what they want when they come to your mobile-friendly website or visit your mobile app. The last thing you want customers to do is to waste time browsing through all your various categories to find the exact product they need.

Instead, include a search bar on the navigation bar that remains visible no matter what page your customer visits. Here is an example from DoorDash.

search bar on doordash mobile app

With a click of a button, DoorDashers can enter the restaurant or cuisine they want and can find what they are looking for without a hitch.

When the product search bar is clearly and always visible, it makes it easy for customers to locate what they want in seconds.

3. Make it easy to check out

Ever been interested in a product and then couldn’t figure out how to add it to your cart and gave up? Worse, have you ever been too lazy to get up and get your credit card, so you abandoned your purchase?

I’ve been in both of those situations. If the check out process is even the tiniest bit difficult, I’ll be the first one to divert my attention elsewhere. I’m not the only one. The average cart abandonment rate is nearly 68%.

If you want to push your consumers over the finish line, it’s up to you to make it convenient.  Here’s how:

  • Include as few as steps as possible. The more steps consumers have to take to get from seeing a product to purchasing it, the less likely they will be to buy. 
  • Allow people to edit their order within the cart. I recently came across a website that didn’t allow me to edit the quantity in the cart. I had to remove the item, go back and refind the item, and then re-add the correct quantity. It seems simple, but those unnecessary extra steps turned me off to the mobile site.
  • Present payment options. There are several mobile commerce technologies that integrate popular payment methods (e.g., PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay) into your website. Options make purchasing easier for the consumer.

4. Show off your security measures to shoppers

Eight-two percent of Americans surveyed in a study said they worry about online security. Despite these concerns, 15% of websites are still not encrypted with SSL technology.

While it’s an absolute must to encrypt your website with SSL technology, providing shoppers with extra security for your mobile store requires a bit more work.

how website with secure ssl certificate appears in google chrome browser

Show your customers you care about enhanced security by:

  • Using lock icons to let shoppers know you use an encrypted payment system.
  • Including the words “secure” in bold and noticeable type on your check-out page.
  • Providing trusted payment platform options like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal.
  • Looking into the use of cybersecurity providers like McAfee Secure and Norton Secured.
  • Adding a “learn more” or a “privacy statement” icon customers can click on for review (see the example from Starbucks below).
how to show enhanced security measures on mobile commerce website

Do everything you can to clearly communicate that you take extra security precautions for secure payment processing.

5. Emphasize promotions

There is a reason nearly every time you navigate to a new mobile commerce website, you see a pop-up offering a one-time coupon in exchange for an email address. 

Well, there are two reasons. One is to capture new email subscribers, but the second is to encourage shoppers to spend money the first time they visit the site.

Offering mobile coupons works. In fact, 77% of customers spend about $10-$50 more when they’re redeeming a mobile coupon.

Since mobile coupons can positively influence your sales revenues, it makes sense to draw attention to your promotions. Here’s how.

Include a coupon for first-time visitors

mobile shopping website offers coupon for first-time visitors

Twenty-eight percent of shoppers are likely to spend more money if a retailer offers a percent off their total. If you want customers to spend more, incentivize them.

If you have a WordPress website, you can find a WordPress plugin that will help you create the perfect mobile-responsive coupon pop-up.

Highlight free shipping

display free shipping banner on mobile website

Did you know that 61% of customers abandon their purchase when they discover extra costs? Additionally, 24% of shoppers will abandon their cart if they can’t see or calculate shipping costs upfront.

A good way to avoid this debacle, besides full transparency, is to offer free shipping. If you provide this luxury to your customers, make a big deal about it. Put your “free shipping” notice front and center.

Another strategy to increase sales is to offer free shipping for orders that reach a certain purchasing threshold. Sephora gets me every time. I always end up adding lip gloss, mascara, or face mask to hit their free shipping minimum. If every consumer does the same, it translates into boosted sales revenues for Sephora.

Put holiday promotions front and center

ecommerce mobile website with banner promoting sale

Is it Black Friday? Valentine’s Day? Mother’s Day? Shopping always increases around the holidays. Smart brands will capitalize on these high sales days by offering a holiday promotion.

Don’t make it difficult for your customers to find your holiday promotions on your mobile site. Place a link to your promotion at the top of the page like the example above from Kizik

6. Provide easy package tracking

Making sales is exciting, but repeat business is really where the money is at. Stats show that 65% of a company’s business is from existing customers, and the probability of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70 percent.

How do you use your mobile site as a tool for increased retention rates? You make the user experience a delight. This includes making it a cinch for customers to track their orders. 

There are several shipping tracking apps you can partner with that will revolutionize the tracking experience. These apps will provide customers with the option to enter their email or phone number for real-time shipping notifications.

7. Add a wishlist or save features option

Let’s say you sell hundreds of clothing items on your website. How do you make it easy for customers to browse your collections, pick out what they like, and follow through with their purchase?

That’s right! You add a wishlist or save feature option. You’ve used it before. It’s essentially a virtually shopping cart where people can add or eliminate products with the click of the button. It’s magic and no mobile store is complete without this feature.

Boost Sales Now With These Mobile Commerce Best Practices

Creating an easy mobile shopping experience is integral to the success of your eCommerce business. With the right tools, it’s easy to create a mobile responsive online store with full eCommerce support.

For more information on how to build your mobile website, visit HostGator today.

Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.